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WINTE R ISSUE 2012 42

HIKARIGAHARA HIGHLANDS 光ヶ原 高 原

Palau's New North パラオの New North

The Powder Room with a View 田沢湖とパウダーヘブン

Human-Powered World Journey 人力世界横断トラベラー

The white at the end of the Tunnel 国境の長いトンネルを抜けると雪国であった

+ 2012 Winter Sports Guide ACTION

ADVENTURE

OUTDOORS

TRAVEL


I N S I D E O J T R AV E L E R

Wishing you a great 2012! On the cover:

FEATURES

Dusting the ridge at Hikarigahara Photo by Neil Hartmann

10

Japan Traveler: Sarah Outen

人力世界横断トラベラー、今冬は日本に滞在。 By Sarah Outen

OUTDOOR JAPAN TRAVELER Published Seasonally Publisher Outdoor Japan Inc. Editor-in-Chief Gardner Robinson

18 26

Palau’s New North

― パラオのNew North ― Story and photos by Tim Rock with Yoko Higashide

Powder Room With a View

田沢湖とパウダーヘブン By Neil Hartmann

Editor William Ross Business Development Director Luke McDonald Art Director Yuki Masuko Contributing Editors Wayne Graczyk, Takashi Osanai Administration & Distribution Rika Yamada

33

SPOTLIGHT ON SNOW COUNTRY

44

Hikarigahara Highlands

The White at the end of the Tunnel 国境の長いトンネルを抜けると雪国であった

Illustration Eureka! Translation Makiko Brunetti, Kanae Kato, Shino Kikuchi, Kumiko Kurosaki, Junco Mitsui Contact Information: Outdoor Japan Inc. J-HANK Chigasaki B / 4-10 Heiwa-cho, Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa 253-0024

光ヶ原高原 By Neil Hartmann

〒253-0024 神奈川県茅ヶ崎市平和町4-10

J HANK 茅ヶ崎B号

Tel: (0467) 81-3212 Fax: (0467) 81-3213

51

Outdoor Japan's

Winter Sports Guide 2012

ウィンタースポーツガイド 2012

Editorial: editor@outdoorjapan.com Advertising: ads@outdoorjapan.com Subscriptions: subscribe@outdoorjapan.com Comments: comments@outdoorjapan.com OJ Creative: creative@outdoorjapan.com www.facebook/japantraveler

6

16

Inside Out

By Craig Yamashita

Monkey Brains featuring Hiro and Jiro

15

www.youtube.com/outdoorjapan

By Abdel Ibrahim

Better off in the Bay やっぱり東京湾がいい

17

Cycling Japan By Takashi Niwa

The Local Brew By Bryan Harrell

Cycling Kagoshima’s Two Peninsulas

Hideji Beer

九州最南端・鹿児島の旅

ひでじビール

4 From the Editor Contributors, Columnists & Cohorts

www.twitter.com/outdoorjapan

Japan Angler

8 Race and Events Spotlights

©2011 OUTDOOR JAPAN INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF OUTDOOR JAPAN.

79 OJ Classifieds

Lifestyle Directory

Make deep turns. Ride your bike.Take a bath. Ride a wave. Hit the slopes. Climb something. Explore. WINTER

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FROM THE EDITOR

Contributors, Columnists and Cohorts

Gardner Robinson, Editor-in-Chief

2

012 couldn’t come quickly enough for many of us here in Japan, ready to turn the corner and kick off a great new year. I relish the pre-winter anticipation in all its glory. You can almost taste the possibilities on the chill in the wind. Yet there has been trepidation for many in the tourism and hospitality biz heading into winter, wondering if customers will shake off the gloomy press Japan has received much of the year and enjoy the bottomless powder that dumps on the mountains here. One team that is doing what they can to throw Japan’s glorious winter back in the spotlight are the guys from Diaries Down Under, creators of the popular “real-time” action sports show in New Zealand and Australia. Led by their host, pro snowboarder Nick Hyne, this season they are coming to Japan to film Diaries Japan because, as Nick puts it, “I’m passionate about how much I love riding here, the people the food, and (director) Ben (Ryan) is as well.” Nick should know. He’s been coming to Japan every winter since 2002. He was in Minakami as a host student, worked as an instructor in Rusutsu, did spring riding in Okutadami and has been in Niseko and Alts Bandai ever year since. Outdoor Japan will be helping promote Diaries Japan, putting up links and videos on our Web site and pushing people to theirs. What’s great about their show is they shoot now, put the footage up a few days later so viewers can see the awesome conditions nearly in real time, then call in sick, book a ticket and be over here

本で暮らす私たちにとって、2012年はいつもよりもゆっ

getting face shots a few days later. As we say around here, “throw caution to the wind; explain the snow burn on your face later.” Check them out at www.japandiaries. com or get up to one of our Snow Splash events this winter and they just might make you famous. This time of the year we also like to say, “Knowledge is powder. Think deep!” Our annual Winter Sports Guide is inside this issue to get you to the mountain this winter. Explore some new terrain and be sure to say hello to some of our sponsors as well, without them we wouldn’t be able to share all the great adventures and memories waiting for you this winter in Japan.

Milestones

Takashi Niwa

アウトドア・ジャパンは、ウェブサイトでリンクを貼ったりビ

はいつも、冬がやって来る前のこのワクワクする感じが好き

ショーの魅力のひとつは、撮影したフッテージを数日でアッ

だ。そして今年もまた、風の冷たさは気持ちを引き締めてく

プすることにある。だからビューワーはほぼリアルタイムに近

れて、前向きなエネルギーももたらしてくれていると感じてい

い形で、その魅惑的なコンディションを見ることが出来るとい

るところだ。とはいっても、とくにツーリズム関連のビジネス

うわけだ。あとは仕事の段取りをつけてチケットを予約し、わ

にかかわる人々は、いまだ来たる冬に向けて大きな不安要

ずか数日後にはそこで最高の時間を楽しめばいいだけ。 “風

素を抱えているのが現状。果たしてカスタマーたちは、今年

の動きを見逃さずタイミングを逃さないように―雪焼けした顔

日本中を覆い尽くしたふさぎ込んだ空気からいったん抜け出

の言い訳なんて後から考えればいい” ってことだ。今年の冬

して、山々に降り積もるボトムレスなパウダーを楽しむために

は、ぜひwww.japandiaries.comをチェックするか、一度われ われのSnow Splashのイベントに参加してみて欲しい。きっ と新しい世界や仲間が手に入るはず。

トライトを当てたいと願うわれわれのチーム。それがDiaries

またこの時期は “知識はパウダーと同じ。深くキチンと考

Down Underのメンバーだ。彼らは、ニュージーランドとオース

えろ!” という時期でもある。今号では年一度恒例のウィン

トラリアで開催されているあのポピュラーな “リアル・タイム”

ター・スポーツ・ガイドも。今年もまた、初めての場所を開

のアクションスポーツショーを立ち上げた面々だ。ホストであ

拓し、われわれのスポンサーにもちゃんと挨拶を忘れずに。

るプロスノーボーダーのニック・ハインに率いられたメンバー

彼らがいてくれるからこそ、日本の冬を皆さんと一緒にシェア

は、この冬日本を訪れて、Diaries Japanの撮影を行う。ニッ

しながら素晴らしいアドベンチャーと思い出に出会うことが

クによれば「僕はこの国でのライディングが本当に大好きな

出来るのだから!

んだ。それに日本の人たちの暖かさや食べ物も。 (ディレク

Milestones

かにその通りだ。ニックは2002年から毎年冬には日本に来

長 年OJのコントリビューターを務めてくれているジン

ている。ホストスチューデントとして水上に行き、ルスツでイ

ジャー・ヴォーンにおめでとうを。先ごろ彼女は再び百名山

ンストラクターを務め、奥只見ではスプリングライドも楽しみ、

に挑み、山頂までの登頂を果たしている。

editor@outdoorjapan.com

4

Bill Ross

ビル・ロス

Abdel Ibrahim

丹羽 隆志

アブデル・イブラヒム

Bryan Harrell

Craig Yamashita

それ以降も毎年ニセコやアルツ磐梯を訪れているのだ。 デオを紹介して、このDiaries Japanをサポートする。彼らの

ターである)ベン(・ライアン) もそれは同じ」ということ。たし

Tim Rock

ティム・ロック

Congratulations to long-time OJ contributor Ginger Vaughn who recently dusted off her hiking boots to summit the remaining peaks and complete the Hyakumeizan.

を新たにして素晴らしい新年を迎える準備をしなくては。私

そんな素晴らしい日本の恵まれた冬に、もう一度スポッ

Neil Hartmann

ニール・ハートマン

くりと近づいているような気がするが、それでも気持ち

出かけてきてくれるのだろうか…。

Sarah Outen

サラ・オーテン

WINTER

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ブライアン・ハレル

クレイグ・山下


7th Annual

SNOW SPLASH Powda inna day, louda inna night

JAP

A N

Shapeshifter DJ Set

Hayley Sales

Dachambo

Radical Animal Beat

Arisa Safu

W.E.T. Bandwagon

Jan. 21 (Sat.) 苗場

Snow Splash ’12 in Naeba @ The Asagai Resthouse

Feb. 11 (Sat.) 野沢温泉

Snow Splash Party in Nozawa Onsen @ Exiev (Pre-Party Happy Hour @ The Craft Room)

Feb. 18 (Sat.) 苗場

FIS World Cup Moguls After Party in Naeba @ The Asagai Resthouse

Feb. 25 (Sat.) 白馬

Snow Splash ‘12 in Hakuba @ The Pub at the Mominoki Hotel

Mar. 10 (Sat.)

野沢温泉

Snow Splash Charity Live in Nozawa Onsen with Hayley Sales

@ The Dojo (Pre-Party Happy Hour set @ The Craft Room)

Sno events w Splash a weeke re part ski celebrand, snow music tion and bring t festival. We the mohe music to u good v ntain and ib resort es to a t near yoown u.

FOR MORE INFO ON TICKETS, TOURS & ARTISTS PLEASE VISIT

www.outdoorjapan.com/snowsplash


By Craig Yamashita Illustration by Eureka! Translation by Aya Aoki

Monkey Brains

featuring Hiro and Jiro: WOOO! What an AWESOME day !! Time to hit the onsen, what d’ya say? Hells yeah! But I have a feeling it’ll be crowded now.

- 最高の日だった! !

これから温泉行こう !

- 当たりめー!

でも、この時間混むじゃねーか?

(ahem...)

See? What’d I tell ya? Pfffft... not to worry, watch this...

Watch those fangs!!

Aaaahhh, it’s great to be a Snow Monkey in winter....

Aaaggh! Run away!

Kyaaaa!

Don’t look them in the eyes!

I don’t wanna die naked! Take anything! Unknown germs!

Sucks to be human! Oooh! Come to papa!....

Rabies!

*gasp!*

あぁ∼! 冬の日本猿で良かったよ…

人間気の毒な… ウォッ!こっち来い!

- 「コホン!」 -「きゃぁぁ∼! !」 「逃げろー!」 「牙こわっ!」 「狂犬病! 」

- ほら!言ったじゃん… - チェッ!心配するな、これ見ろ

「はだかで死にたくない!」 「未知細菌!」

ザ・サーファーズ・ジャーナルのバックナンバーを今すぐGETしよう !

残部 僅少

創刊号 1.1

○ 名匠:タイラー・ハジキアン ○ 南アフリカのゴッドファーザー ○ ニュージャージー・サーフの手引き 他

第2号 1.2

第4号 1.4

○“天才” ジム・フィリップスの素顔 ○ ジュリアン・ウィルソンとその家族 ○ 60年代サーフ・ファンのアナログ・ストーリー 他

○ ピーター・トロイの失われた旅行記 ○ 思考を変えろ̶リー・クロウの半生 ○ ポール・ウィツィグの3作品 他

各巻 ¥1,995( 税込) 購入は

6

第3号 1.3

○ 変革の申し子トニー・アルバ ○ マーティン・ポッターの半生とその時代 ○ スティーブ・リスのフィッシュ物語 他

www.surfersjournal.jp のバックナンバーから

WINTER

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WINTER

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RACES & EVENTS

EVENT SPOTLIGHTS

01 1 2 N UM E 42 T U A SSU I

Feb. 11-12

Toyota Big Air

トヨタ・ビッグ・エア

The world’s best high flyers catch some truly “big” air and vie for the coveted “King of Air” title. This year's event takes place inside the Sapporo Dome. Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido / 北海道札幌 Details: www.toyota-bigair.jp

Jan. 15

Dosojin Fire Festival 道祖神祭り

One of the most exciting fire festivals in Japan, Dosojin is held annually on Jan. 15 when locals gather to pray for a plentiful harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year. Each year locals build an 18-meter high beach wood shrine that will become the target of torch-bearing 25-year old villagers trying to attack it. This occurs while forty-two year old men sit atop the shrine, battling the flames with pine branches. Since old times, these two ages have been considered unlucky, and at no other time does it seem so more so then on Jan. 15 when crimson fires light up this sleepy onsen village beneath of Japan's best ski resorts—but it sure is fun to watch! Location: Nozawa Onsen, Nagano / 長野県野沢温泉 Details: www.vill.nozawaonsen.nagano.jp

Feb. 6-12

63rd Annual Sapporo Snow Festival 第63回 さっぽろ雪まつり

The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan's largest winter events with more than two million visitors flocking north to see the spectacular snow statues and beautiful ice sculptures on display in Odori Park. Make sure to book early, as hotels fill up very quickly during this event. Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido / 北海道札幌 Details: www.snowfes.com

NEWS & NOTES Ride Tohoku Stamp Rally Have fun, support Tohoku and have a chance to win some great prizes this winter during Burton’s Ride Tohoku Stamp Rally.

LUXE Niseko LUXE City Guides have become popular for their short, snappy reviews and noholds barred opinioned reports. The LUXE crew now take aim at Niseko, giving Asia's powder hounds and active families some great whether they are into "skiing, après-skiing or just plain après-ing." They’ve introduced the LUXE Niseko mobile app that includes the LUXE Tokyo app as part of the deal and make great traveling companions when you are exploring Asia's powder playground this winter. Find out more at www.luxecityguides.com.

8

WINTER

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Hidden Treasures – Guam's Marine Preserves Outdoor Japan contributor Tim Rock recently unveiled his 216 page full color photo book with 300+ beautiful images of Guam's five marine preserves. Flip through images of historic Spanish period and World War shipwrecks and remnants, Guam's beautiful coral reefs and diverse marine environment. The book makes a great gift to adorn a traveler's coffee table. Web: www.mantaraypublishing.com


Foreign Buyers’ Club After hitting the slopes, try hitting some soups! Foreign Buyers’ Club is the best place for all your winter needs (and the rest of the year too). We have hot breakfasts, soups, drinks, meats and thousands of other items (including turkeys and all the trimmings for your holiday feasts). And don’t forget the English books and magazines for the long trip to and from the slopes!

www.fbcusa.com WINTER

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R E L E V A R T JAPAN

By Sarah Outen

Sarahten Ou

traveler ld r o w d e r e Human-pow n home for the winter a will call Jap ラー、今冬は日本に滞在。 断トラベ 人力世界横

10

Three marriage proposals, 40 punctured tires (and 10 n ew ones), close encounters with pois onou snakes and brown bears, fo s ur grueling sea crossings, 12 countrie s and 7,800 kilometers traversed — and she’s not even half way home.

ヤ)、 の新品タイ 本 0 1 と ( のパンク みに40回 込 し 峡横断。 申 の 過酷な海 の 度 3度の結婚 4 と 遭遇 マたちとの 旅も、 ,800㎞の 毒蛇やヒグ 7 る た わ ている。 12カ国に のりが残っ そんな述べ 道 の 上 以 まだ半分 故郷までは

WINTER

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A

ll great journeys begin with a single step, or in my case a stroke. On April 1, 2011, I put my kayak into the river at Tower Bridge, London, and paddled down the River Thames, then across the English Channel to Calais, France. From the bridge to the beach it was 60 hours and 110 nautical miles. It was challenging as my partner and I paddled with the tides  —  on and off the water every six hours. A worsening weather window meant there was no time to rest before the crossing to France; we left at 10 p.m. and paddled through the night in rough seas, battling to stay awake. Arriving in France, I swapped boat for bike and headed east alone. I passed through what felt like familiar territory as I crossed Europe and then into less recognizable Asia. Here there were the empty plains of

Kazakhstan and the scorching Gobi Desert of Northern China. From Beijing, I turned left and headed north to the Russian border, chilly and forested. After nearly six months of cycling, my body was shocked to get back on the water and my mind was a bit confused as well. Using a mixture of kayaking and biking, I traveled from mainland Russia into Japan via the rugged and beautiful island of Sakhalin from which I paddled to Hokkaido. The pressure was on to arrive safely in Honshu before the winter weather arrived in full force on Japan’s northern island. I was pushing my limits mentally and physically until I made it to Oma, Aomori Prefecture. Arriving on Japan’s main island was a huge moment. I could relax now a little and take my time pedaling south to Choshi,

Simply, I love adventures, challenging myself in extreme environments and traveling through wild places. In 2009, I rowed across the Indian Ocean, a voyage that took me four months from Australia to Mauritius. I became a creature of the ocean, in tune with the rhythms and changes in weather, and I especially enjoyed being so close to nature. Experiencing life at a human-powered pace is, for me, simply wonderful.

んな大冒険だって、最初の小さな一歩から始まる

ンの広々とした平原地帯に、中国北部の灼熱のゴビ砂

とした。そこで私の今シーズンの人力世界横断の旅はひ

もの。私の場合は一歩ならぬ一掻きから始まった。

漠。北京からは左にハンドルを向けると、寒々とした森

と段落。再びパドルを始める来年の春まで、しばしの休

林地帯を抜けてロシア国境のある北へと走った。

息が待っている。

2011年4月1日、ロンドンにあるタワーブリッジの川面 にカヤックを浮かべ、即座に乗り込んだ私はテムズ川

the coastal town at the mouth of the Tone River in Chiba Prefecture, where I will start rowing from again next spring, and finally to Tokyo. Then I can finally unclip my pedals and rest as this year’s leg of my humanpowered world expedition is complete.

Why am I doing this?

6か月も自転車を漕ぎ続けて海との再会を果たした。

どうしてこの旅を続けるのか?

を下り始めた。フランスのカレーを目指して渡って行くの

再びカヤックに乗り込むと、久しぶりの感覚に私の体も

はイギリス海峡。私とパートナーは潮流に悩まされて6

心も少し混乱気味だった。それからはカヤックと自転車

単純に、アドベンチャーが大好きだから。過酷な環

時間毎に休憩を取り、タワーブリッジからビーチまで60

とを何度か乗り換えながら、ロシア本土から荒々しくも美

境の中で自分自身の限界に挑戦し、大自然の中を旅す

時間をかけて110海里を進んだ。天候も崩れてきたた

しいサハリンを経由して一路日本を目指し、北海道へと

ることが。2009年には、カヤックでインド洋横断をした

め、フランスに辿り着くまでのんびり休む余裕もなくなり、

海を渡った。

夜の10時から夜通し眠気と闘いながら荒れる海を漕ぎ

けれど、オーストラリアを出発してモーリシャスに到着す

本格的な冬が訪れる前になんとか本州入りしなけれ

るまでは4カ月という時間がかかった。私はすっかり海

ばというプレッシャーから、青森県の大間に辿り着くまで

の生き物になって、天候の変化やリズムに波長を合わ

ようやくフランスに辿り着くと今度はカヤックを自転車

肉体的にも精神的にもひたすら自分を追いこんだ。そん

せていた。自然に包まれている感覚は本当に素晴らし

に乗り換えて、そこからはひとりで東へ旅立った。ヨー

な状態だったから、本州の地を踏んだ瞬間の感動は大

かった。人力のスピードで人生を歩むという体験はすご

ロッパの馴染みのある風景を通り過ぎると、そこには新

きかった。これで少しはリラックスして、利根川河口にあ

くユニークで、私にとっては、ただただ最高の感覚だ。

鮮なアジアの風景との出会いが待っていた。カザフスタ

る千葉県の銚子、それから東京を目指せると思うとほっ

続けた。

その横断中には、 この次はもっと大きな冒険に出よう、

Here t Kazakhhere were the e Desert ostan and the mpty plains Beijing f Northern C scorching G of north t , I turned lef hina. From obi and for o the Russia t and headed n borde ested. r, chill カザフ y ス

に、中 タンの広 々 国 京 から 北部の灼 とした 平 原 熱のゴ 地帯 寒 々と は 左 に ハ ンドル ビ砂漠。北 した森 を 国境の 林 ある北 地 帯を抜 向 けると、 け へと走 った。 てロシア

WINTER

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11


wing In bigger o r e l i take ed wh an eve I decided to make which wouldcross want ey — one gain and a too. journut to sea a the globe, me o een bits of もっと 次は てい の the gr 、こ め

う決 には 断 中 出よう、そ て今度は 横 その 冒険に に出 だと。 い海 大きな 一度青 分も行くの う た。も 緑色の部 の 地球

An im journeyportant part world, is sharing of my i especial ly chiltdwith the ren. 私の旅 の

中での ひとつ 大 に アする 、この経験 切な要 素 の ことが を世界 と分か あ ち合い る。特に子 とシェ 供 たいの だ。 たち

12

WINTER

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I decided while rowing I wanted to make an even bigger journey — one which would take me out to sea again and across the green bits of the globe, too. An important part of my journey is sharing it with the world, especially children. As such, I have a dedicated education section on my Website with resources for students, as well as connecting with schools live via my satellite phone. I plan to have the resources translated into Japanese in the future.

and Tazawa-ko (Akita). After the chilly climes of Russia, the water felt tropical. Heading southeast, I then pedaled to the Tohoku coast and was humbled by what I found. News reports are one thing, but visiting Ishinomaki and seeing for myself the devastation and reconstruction efforts was very moving. I stood looking out to sea, calm and inviting, and was humbled by the power and anonymity of nature that had claimed so many lives and altered the landscape so drastically. I am planning to join a volunteer work party next month further up the coast, to help in a small way, and I hope to make a return visit to Ishinomaki to see if I can be of use in any of the schools. Smooth roads and lots of wild camping spots have made Japan a very easy place in which to cycle — and the scenery, lakes

The greatest challenge of the journey lies ahead; the Pacific Ocean will be grueling. I am preparing to be at sea for up to seven months, although I hope to cross in five. I am excited about returning to the water and am looking forward to my preparations over the winter. From the east coast of the Pacific I will cycle across the USA and Canada in the winter before rowing home across the North Atlantic. I hope to be home in September of 2013, my loop of the globe complete.

そう決めていた。もう一度青い海に出て、そして今度は

素敵な経験だった。ロシアの寒い日々の後の湖は、ま

た。秋の穏やかな天候と紅葉の美しさは自転車トリップ

地球の緑色の部分も行くのだと。私の旅の中での大切

るで南国みたいに温かく感じた。

Cycling through Japan I whizzed through Hokkaido in just six days, so my impressions were rather blurred by fatigue and a focus of getting to Honshu. However, I have really enjoyed taking my time weaving my way south, particularly savoring the Towada-Hachimantai National Park and lake swims in Towada-ko (Aomori)

な要素のひとつに、この経験を世界とシェアすることが

and lovely people have made it a real pleasure. Autumn seems a perfect time for cycling in the north, with mild weather and gorgeous colors of turning leaves. I was surprised there were not more touring cyclists.

What lies ahead…?

にはもってこいだった。ただ、自転車で旅をする人たち

東北の海岸線を南東に下って行った先。そこで出

をあまり見かけなかったことには驚いた。

ある。特に子供たちと分かち合いたいのだ。私のホー

会った光景に息をのんだ。ニュースで見ていたとはい

ムページでは教育用の情報に力を入れていて、教材を

え、実際にこの目で見た石巻の惨状と復興の取り組み

誰でも見られるようになっているし、衛星電話を使って

の光景に胸が締め付けられた。穏やかで優しげな海を

太平洋横断という、この旅の中でも最も過酷な挑戦

学校と中継を繋いだりすることもできる。これから日本語

見つめながら、多くの命を奪い、風景を一変させてしまっ

が待っている。5か月での横断が目標だけれど、7か月

た自然の驚異的な力に驚くしかなかった。来月には、

は海で過ごすことになると覚悟している。また海に出る

ボランティア活動をするために東北に戻る予定だ。小さ

のが今から楽しみだし、冬の間にしっかりとその準備を

版ページも作成する予定だ!

自転車で日本横断 本州を急いで目指して、北海道はたった6日で通り 過ぎてしまった。そのための疲れもあり、少々ぼやけた

そして旅は続く…

な力だけれど、石巻の学校で子供たちの役に立つよう

整えるつもりだ。太平洋をわたりきって西海岸に着いた

な何かが出来たらいいと願っている。

ら、冬の間にアメリカとカナダを自転車で縦断して、そし

日本の舗装された道路と自然のキャンプ場の多さ

て我が家に向かって北大西洋を渡るのだ。2013年の

印象になってしまった。それでも十和田八幡平国立公

は、自転車の旅を快適にしてくれた。美しい風景や湖、

9月までに地球一周の旅を終えて家に帰れるといい、そ

園は素晴らしかったし、十和田湖と田沢湖で泳いだのも

そして親切な人々との出会いは忘れられないものになっ

う考えている。

PROFILE: Sarah Outen s NATIONALITY: British ̶ from England’ smallest county, Rutland. AGE: 26. EDUCATION: University of Oxford, Biological Sciences. AUTHOR OF: "A Dip in the Ocean: Rowing Solo Across the Indian," published by Summersdale (2011). PAST ADVENTURES: Rowing solo across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Mauritius in 2009 (124 days, 4,000 nautical miles). s title sponsor is Accenture; SPONSORS: Sarah’ visit her Web site for a list of companies and organizations supporting her journey. プロフィール:サラ・オーテン 国籍:イギリス人。一番小さなカウンティ、ラトラ ンド出身 年齢:26歳 学歴:オックスフォード大学、生物科学専攻 著書:"A Dip in the Ocean: Rowing Solo Across the Indian" Summersdale(2011年) 過去の冒険歴:オーストラリアからモーリシャス までインド洋の単独横断(124日間、4,000海里) スポンサー:メインスポンサーはアクセンチュア (サラのホームページに、冒険を支える全スポ ンサーが掲載)

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Most exciting moment: Meeting a brown bear on the beach in Sakhalin — it was windy, so he couldn’t hear us paddling a few meters off the shore. To be so close to such a beautiful, formidable animal was very special. My favorite story: Gao Yua Guang, a 22-yearold Chinese man, asked to join me on a whim to cycle 4,000 km. across his country to Beijing. He had never cycled more than 10 km. before and didn’t even own a bike. Thirty-five days later, we pedaled into the capital together after a 200-km. day. He had turned from shy guy into an athlete, keen for more adventures. It was a wonderful trove of memories and an inspiration. Longest ride: 266 km. through the night on Sakhalin, battered by wind and rain, and much of it on muddy, non-paved roads. It was a beautiful island, but the lack of hard surfaces made it very challenging. Scariest moment: Kazakhstan  —  a herd of cows walked by my tent, trying to munch my breakfast and gear. They also scared a snake which slithered out of the brush toward my bike and looped itself through the frame. I didn’t know whether to stop the cows eating my watermelon and tent or do something about the snake.

最も興奮した瞬間は?:サハランのビーチでヒグマに遭遇した こと。風が強かったせいで、私たちが数メートル先を漕いでい くのに気付かなかったみたい。強くて美しい熊にあんなに近 くで出会えたなんてとても特別な体験だった。 お気に入りのエピソードは?:ガオ・ユア・グアンっていう22 歳の中国の男の子が、北京までの4,000キロの自転車の旅 に一緒に行きたいと思い付きで言いだしたの。ガオは10キロ

サラを追いかけよう!

以上自転車をこいだことがなかったし、 そもそも自転車さえ持っ ていなかったのよ! でも35日間かけて、一緒に北京まで辿り 着くことができた。1日200キロを走ってね。ひとりのシャイな 男の子が、立派なアスリートに生まれ変わったの。すごく素敵 な思い出だし、良い刺激をもらった。 最も長い自転車の旅は?:266キロ。サハランの夜を、風雨 を受けながら舗装されていない泥道を走ったの。美しい島だっ たけれど、固い路面がなかったのは本当に大変だった。 最も怖かった瞬間は?:カザフスタンで、牛の群れが食料と ギアをムシャムシャしに私のテントにやってきたことがあって ね。しかも牛たちに驚いた蛇がニョロニョロって私の自転車の フレームに巻き付いちゃった。牛が私の朝食のスイカとテント を食べるのを阻止するべきか、蛇を追い払うべきか、もう訳が 分からなかったわ! 嫌な思い出は?:中国の大気汚染はなかなかのものだったし、 砂漠の道路を走るのも大変だった。車の排気ガスやら砂埃や らにまみれて走るのはそう良いものじゃないわよね。トラックの 交通量と言ったらそれはすごくて、ガオと私は石炭を運ぶ車が ずらーっと並んだ40キロの渋滞を横目に走ったりすることも珍 しくなかった。

The ugly: China’s air quality is not great and the road surfaces through the desert were often very poor  —  meaning I was permanently covered in grime and dust from the road and traffic. Truck traffic out there was astonishing — Gao and I often cycled past queues 40-km. long, with nose-to-tail traffic hauling coal about the country.

14

Follow Sarah

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Technology has made it possible for Sarah to blog and share her stories from anywhere in the world̶including the middle of the ocean. Sarah will be spending the winter in Minakami, but you can follow her this spring when she shoves off from Choshi via www.sarahouten.com, her Twitter (@SarahOuten) or the Outdoor Japan Fan Page at www.facebook.com/japantraveler. テクノロジーのおかげで、サラはブログを通して 世界中から大冒険の様子を伝えることができる ようになった。そう、外洋のど真ん中からでも!サ ラは今年の冬を群馬県のみなかみで過ごして いるが、来春には銚子から再び海に出る。そ の模様はwww.sarahouten.com、ツイッター(@ SarahOuten)、もしくはOJのファンページwww. facebook.com/japantravelerから!


Cycling Japan:

A JOURNEY TO EXPERIENCE THE LOCAL LIFE

By Takashi Niwa Translated by Sakae Sugahara

サイクリング—それは 土地の暮らしを感じる旅

Sakurajima

ROUTE

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#

Cycling Kagoshima’s Two Peninsulas

SATSUMA PENINSULA

OHSUMI PENINSULA

KAGOSHIMA PREFECTURE

九州最南端・鹿児島の旅

K

a goshima Prefecture is the south ernmost prefecture on Kyushu Island and the climate there sure feels that way. In late December, rape blossoms sta r t to bloom in a spattering of fields around the island. We start our ride from the city of Kagoshima, which has many historic sites relating to the heroes of the Meiji Restoration. We pedal south along the western peninsula of Satsuma, passing by the airfield in Chiran Town where many Japanese kamikaze planes took off during the war and none returned. The route continues further south, taking you through a land filled with charms and attractions. You’ll discover the spectacle of meticulously groomed ridges of tea trees and the smell of fuming bonito in Makurazaki, a main source of katsuobushi, an indispensable ingredient for Japanese cooking.

After relaxing in the sand bath in Ibusuki hot springs, take an eastbound ferry to Osumi Peninsula and visit Cape Sata, the southernmost tip of Kyushu Island. We then return to Kagoshima City by way of the smoking Sakurajima volcano, completing the roughly 220-kilometer tour around the two peninsulas of Kagoshima.

鹿

児島は九州にあって、さらに南を感じさせるとこ ろ。12月下旬ともなると、県内のあちこちで菜

の花が咲く。 鹿児島市内で明治維新の立役者たちの足跡を訪 ね、知覧で特攻隊の悲しみを知りつつ、広大な茶畑を 駆け抜け、枕崎でカツオの水揚げ量・日本一にして鰹 節の産地を訪ねる。 そして指宿で砂蒸し温泉で癒されたら、さらに大隅半 島に渡って、九州最南端の佐多岬を訪ね、噴煙を上 げる桜島経由で鹿児島へ戻ると約220㎞の旅となる。

Takashi Niwa’s Yamamichi Adventure company has been renamed Niwa Cycling Tours (www.ncycling.com). He offers many bike tours, both domestic and overseas. For other routes in Japan, please pick up a copy of “CYCLING JAPAN: 10 of the Best Rides, Vol. 1 by Takashi Niwa,” at bookshops around Japan and various online stores.

丹羽隆志(にわ たかし)  2011年1月より “やまみちアドベンチャー”改め “に わサイクリングツアー” (www.ncycling.com)として 国内外の各地をガイドする。国内のコースについ ては『丹羽隆志の日本ベストサイクリングコース10 vol.1 』を参照してほしい。

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15


Better off in the Bay やっぱり東 京湾がいい

I

’m sitting in a pub near Shinagawa Station, sipping a pint, when a slightly inebriated gentleman with an unmistakable Geordie accent walks up and asks about the contents of the long cloth case leaning against the bar next to me. “It’s a fishing rod,” I say. He does a double take and is silent for a moment. “A fishing rod? You just bought that?” “Yup, at a pro-shop around the corner.” He looks puzzled, and I know what his next question will be, even though it hasn’t fully formed in his mind. He glances left and right and, before he speaks, I point in the direction of Odaiba and Haneda. “You – you catch fish near here?” he asks. “Oh yeah – lots.” He pauses again and, in the course of five seconds, his face goes from a look of disbelief to bubbling with childlike curiosity. I have seen this scenario play out more times than I can count. My interlocutor is an out-of-towner who, like me, was the resident fishing bum of his old neighborhood back home and is at this moment in the middle of

a revelation. Visitors and new residents of the Kanto area usually never think of it as a place to catch fish. We quickly get used to going about our business in the concrete latticework of Tokyo or Yokohama without ever seeing the ocean or rivers, so it’s easy to forget we live on the coast. On chance encounters with people who express interest in wetting a line, I always tell them to start with sea bass. For residents of the greater Tokyo area, it is the most accessible, cost-effective and easy-to-learn fishery. Basically, if you can cast a lure, you can catch a lot. In addition to river mouths and flats, sea bass congregate in large numbers near ship berths and numerous platforms, creating incredible opportunities for structure fishing, day or night. Having been bitten by the fishing bug as a university student in the States, my buddy Aki Mori very bravely (and wisely) chose to forgo the life of a salary man to become a sea bass guide. He is possibly the only English-

speaking skipper operating in Tokyo Bay at the moment. More importantly, he knows the entirety of these waters like the back of his hand and takes his clients as far as necessary to put them on fish. Compared to most other skippers with whom I have fished, Aki is a lot more easygoing and humble. Perhaps it’s his youth, but I noticed he doesn’t try to dictate a “correct” method or tackle to his clients. I think his approach puts them at ease and goes a long way toward making them want to book successive charters. I’ve spent a disgusting amount of time and money marauding fisheries from Hokkaido to the Ryukyu Islands. In many instances, I come home so physically and emotionally spent, I’m ready to throw in the towel and take up shogi. However, it takes just one outing in Tokyo Bay — the place where I started fishing in Japan — to help me bounce back. Maybe it’s the only place I ever needed to fish. Readers interested in fishing with Aki Mori can contact him through his homepage: www.fishtokyo.com.

川駅近くのパブでビールのジョッキをちびりちびりと飲

という人物であり、今回のように僕の話を聞いているうちに、 そしてそれ以上に、彼ほどこの海域を熟知している人物はい

んでいると、若干酔っぱらったひとりの紳士がこちら

明らかになった意外な新事実に驚くという筋書きになるのだ。

へ近づいてきた。彼は、僕がバーカウンターに立てかけてい

この関東地方を訪れる人、もしくは新たに住人となる人た

た細長い布製のケースを指さすと、明らかにニューカッスル

ちは、まさかここで魚をキャッチできるなどとは考えもしない。

の方言で「そこに何が入っているんだい?」 と聞いてきた。

仕事に出かける時だって、海や川が目に入っても気にならな

「釣竿です」 と答えると、その紳士は驚いたようにケースを 見直して、一瞬言葉につまった。 「釣竿?それをいま買って来たのか?」 「そう。すぐそこにあるプロショップで」 困惑したようなその様子を見て、僕には彼の次の質問が

ない。自分のクライアントたちを必ずといっていいほど魚を釣 れる場所まで案内してくれる。 彼は、僕がこれまでに一緒に釣りに出かけたどんなスキッ パーよりも自然な振る舞いでいながら、とても謙虚な人物だ。

くなっている。コンクリートだらけの街並みに慣れてしまってい

その若さのせいもあるのかもしれないが、とにかくこの彼は、

て、東京や横浜が海に面した土地だってことを忘れてしまい

クライアントに対して決して “押しつけがましい” 方法論などを

がちなのだ。

語ったりはしない。彼の堅苦しくない謙虚なガイド振りは当然

釣り糸を水に浸すことに興味を示す人に出会ったら、僕 の場合は、いつもまずシーバスから始めることを薦めている。

のように人気が高く、チャーターの予約はかなり先まで埋まっ ているという。

予想できていた。彼は案の定周囲をキョロキョロと見回して

広い東京に住んでいる人にとっても一番アクセスが良く、コ

これまでに僕は、嫌になるほどの時間と費用をかけて、北

いる。だから次の質問の前に、お台場や羽田の方角を指で

ストもほどほどで、すぐに覚えられるからだ。基本的には、ル

海道から琉球諸島までのあらゆる漁場を体験してきた。そし

示してあげた。

アーを使えばより多くの魚をキャッチできる。そして河口や平

てその多くで、心身ともに疲れ果て、もう釣りをやめて将棋で

「まさか、ここから近い場所で魚が釣れるっていうのかい?」

地に加え、シーバスはフィッシュバースの近くにも群れで集

もやろうかと匙を投げたくなる場面にも遭遇してきた。でも、

「もちろん。それもかなりたくさん、いろいろね」

まっていることが多いし、昼夜を問わず、いい漁場を作って

再び東京へ戻ってきて一度でも東京湾(僕が日本で最初に

再び彼は沈黙したが、それから数秒の後、半信半疑だっ たその表情は、子供みたいに興味津々といった顔つきに変 わっていった。

いるプラッ トフォームがいくつも存在する。 アメリカの大学に通っている時にフィッシング・バグに取り つかれてしまった僕のバディ、アキ・モリは、勇敢にも (そし

僕はこれと同じ一連のシナリオに過去何度も遭遇してい

て賢くも)サラリーマンとしての生活を捨てて、シーバス・ガイ

る。そしてその相手はたいてい、現在は地元を離れているも

ドになる道を選んだ。彼は恐らく、現在東京湾で活動してい

のの、国へ帰れば僕同様に自分もフィッシング・バムのひとり

るスキッパーの中で英語を話す唯一のスキッパーのはずだ。

16

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釣りを始めた場所だ)に出かけさえすれば、またすぐにそんな 気分を忘れて立ち直れるのだ。もしかしたら最初からずっとこ こで釣りをしていれば良かったのかもしれない… 。 アキ・モリと一緒に出かける釣りに興味のある人は、彼の ウェブサイトへ:www.fishtokyo.com


Off-the-beaten-track Japan

By Bryan Harrell

Hideji Beer ひでじビール Nobeoka, Miyazaki 宮崎県 延 岡市

N

e st le d at t he nor t he r n e dge of Miyazaki Prefecture’s coastline, Nobeoka City is one of the most beautiful places in Japan, with lush green mountains and stunning seascapes. Since the summer of 1996, it has been home to Hideji Beer, a craft brewery that distinguishes itself with colorfully named beers, pleasingly artistic labels and superbly made beer. Over the years, the Hideji Beer product l i ne h a s e x p a n de d to include a diverse variety of brews. Currently, regular products include A merica n - style pa le a le, Belgian-style white, German-style pilsner, Bohemian-style pilsner, Bohem ia n style dark lager, stout, hefeweizen and a monthly special beer of which only 1,000 bottles are produced. While their various lager and pilsner styles are more commonly available, I have noticed other Hideji beers share the common trait of balance and drinkability. I can also say the beers show re-

markable restraint, so don’t expect huge flavor profiles, wildly bitter hopping or high alcohol levels. Most brews range around 5% alcohol, with the exception being their heady 7% stout. Overall, expect a reasonably civilized beer experience when you enjoy Hideji beers. Quite a number of pubs in the greater Tokyo/Yokohama area offer their b e e r s o n t a p or i n bottles. In addition, a list of places all over Japan offering Hideji beer on tap ca n be found under “Spot” on their Website. Several years ago, du r i n g t he ter m of former Miyazaki Prefectural Gov. Higashikokubaru, Hideji Beer c r e a te d a s p e c i a l release beer that featured a cartoon caricature of him on the label. This was a remarkably appropriate tribute to a politician who worked hard to promote products from Miyazaki throughout Japan. As I recall, the beer (a pilsner type) tasted pretty good.

宮 見事な海の景色が融合する素晴らしい場所だ。

東国原知事の時代には、 ラベルに知事のキャラク ターを入れて販売したこともあり、 ひでじビールが宮崎か ら日本中に発信されるきっかけとなった。 ピルスナーがと ても美味しかったのを今でもよく覚えている。

崎県沿岸の北端に位置する延岡市。濃い緑と

この地でひでじビールが作られるようになったのは1996 年。 その美味だけでなく、 個性的な名称とアートなラベル が特長だ。 ビールの種類はずいぶん増えた。定番ビールには、 ア メリカンペールエール、 ベルギーホワイト、 ドイツピルス ナー、 ボヘミアンピルスナー、 ボヘミアンダークラガー、 ス hefeweizen が揃っており、 さらに毎月1000本限 タウト、 定の特別ビールがこれらに加わる。 ラガー系とピルスナー系が人気だが、 その他の飲み やすいスタイルもあって、 バランスいい品揃えだ。一方で、 ビターなホップや高いアルコール度数のような極端な味 アルコール は扱っていない。 スタウトの7%を除いては、 度数はどれも5%程だ。 東京と横浜には、 ひでじビールの上品な味を楽しめる パブがたくさんある。同社のサイ トでは、 ひでじビールが飲 めるお店が紹介されている。

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Miyazaki Hideji Beer

宮崎ひでじビール

747-58 Mukabaki-cho, Nobeoka-shi, Miyazaki 882-0077

info@oxalisholidays.jp

〒 8 8 2- 0 0 7 7 宮崎県延 岡市 行 縢 町 747- 5 8

Phone: (0982) 39-0090 Web: www.hideji-beer.jp (Japanese only) WINTER

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Story and

photo s

o Higashide th Yok by Tim Rock wi

PALAU’S NEW NORTH ― パ ラオ の N E W N O R T H ―

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Island Beat

Japan Islands–Micronesia

Divers continue to flock to Palau’s popular dive spots to the south, yet the northern interior and outer reefs of Palau’s largest island are beginning to lure adventurous travelers. パラオを訪れるダイバーの多くは、たいてい人気の高い南のダイブスポット へ出かけていくが、実は、海岸からは離れている北の内陸部やパラオ最 大の島のアウターリーフにもいいスポットがあり、最近は冒険好きなトラベ ラーたちが足を伸ばすようになってきた。

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19


T

he anticipation was killing me. It was an early morning, and I was sitting 20 meters below the sea in warm, clear water. I was at Devilfish City in northern Palau. A current was kicking in, and I was peering into the blue. The current was flowing over the large rock next to me while beautiful yellow and red soft corals covering the rock were opening to feed. In an arch under the rock, a stunning school of sweepers moved like liquid copper. Then it happened. One, two, three manta rays swooped in. One by one, the rays slowly came close and then one settled into an area full of sea whips. Here butterfly fish and cleaner wrasse came out and started pecking parasites from the large manta. One after another, the rays reveled in this cleaning. After a while, five rays were in the area. One manta had a mandible missing; probably caught in a fishing line or net. Our guide, Yoko Higashide, said she knew this manta; it cleaned here a lot. It used this station to clean and heal its

wound and, now healed, has become attached to the site. Another ray had a snow-white belly. As the current increased, they chased each other around and continued feeding. It was a great way to start the day. We had already dived twice by 9 a.m. As most dive boats were just heading out, we decided to see what the river held. Gnarly roots and an overhead canopy make this winding route fascinating. Snorkeling, we saw archerfish and odd root formations. Flowers also floated down the stream as we snorkeled past. The upper part of the water is fresh and clear, but below there’s a halocline of sea water. It's a fascinating habitat that is strange to look through, and we did so with a wary eye. The rivers in northern Palau hold estuarine crocodile, and we didn’t want to become croc lunch. The islands of Palau are without a doubt one of the prettiest places on earth. Spanning more than 100 miles from one tip of the archipelago to the other, this region features an amazingly beautiful atoll, a high

island called Babeldaob that in Micronesia is second only to Guam in terms of land mass. There are 700 rock islands and two southern limestone islands. Many feel Babeldaob holds Palau’s unexplored attractions, both on land and along the outer reefs. The 53-mile Compact Road now encircling the island means the north side of the island can vie for attention with the south. The south’s drop-offs have been widely dived, but the north is now open and ready for the adventurous to explore. Palau’s scuba diving is world famous, yet some of the fun you can have getting wet doesn’t involve diving. One of the most beautiful atolls in the world, and one of the most photographed, is Kyangel in northern Palau. It is the quintessential Pacific atoll, with a school of spinner dolphins living at the entrance channel mouth. Here you can try to snorkel with this resident pod and also visit the uninhabited, beach-lined, coconut grove islands in the atoll. Take a good guide and explore where few tourists visit. Don’t want to go quite this far? Then hop in a car

さに予想をはるかに上回る光景だった。まだ早朝の

知っているという。よくこの場所でクリーニングをしているの

群島が広がるこの地域には、驚くほどに見事な環礁やバベ

時間帯、僕は暖かく透き通った海の中、海面から20

だそうだ。ここでクリーニングをしながら傷を癒し、その傷が

ルダオブ島と呼ばれる火山島などがあり、ミクロネシア内で

メートルの位置にいた。ここは北パラオのデビルフィッシュ

治ってからもこのエリアで暮らしているというわけだ。また他

はグアムに次ぐ広大な土地を誇る。他にも700に及ぶロック

シティ。カレントが入り込んできて、僕はそのブルーの空間

の1匹は腹部が雪のように真っ白だった。カレントが強くなっ

アイランド、南にはふたつの石灰岩の島も横たわる。

をじっと見つめた。すぐ近くにある大きな岩の上をそのカレン

ても、彼らは互いに追いかけあうようにしながら食事を続け

バベルダオブ島は、陸の上でもアウターリーフでも、まだ人

トが通り過ぎていくと、岩を覆うイエローとレッドの美しいソフ

ている。僕としては、1日の始まりとしてはこれ以上ないほど

の手がそれほど入っていないパラオらしい趣を十分に表して

トコーラルが、エサを捕まえようといっせいに体を開く。岩の

の光景だった。

下でアーチ状になった場所では、スウィーパーたちの群れが

いる場所だろう。現在では島を一周するように延長された53

多くのダイブボートがようやく出発し始める午前9時には、

マイルのコンパクトロードのおかげで、これまでのように南だけ

赤褐色の液体のようにスルスルと移動している。そして、そ

すでに2度のダイブを終えていたので、今度は川の方をチェッ

でなく、島の北側にまで簡単に足を伸ばせるようになってい

れは起こった。

クすることにした。ふしくれだった木々の根っことそこから伸

る。南側の斜面沿いはすでに有名なダイブサイトになってい

計3匹のマンタが突然姿を見せたのだ。1匹ずつ、それぞ

びた枝が天蓋のように頭上を覆う、うねうねと曲がりくねった

るが、新たに北側へのアクセスが整備されたことで、こちらで

れがゆっくりと移動しながら、そのうちの1匹はムチサンゴが

ルートは、そこを通るだけでワクワクする。川面に浮かんだ

もまた今後、次々にいいスポットが開拓されていくはずだ。

ビッシリと生息しているエリアに落ち着いた。さらにここでバ

花の間を抜けながらスノーケリングをすれば、根が複雑な形

パラオでのスキューバダイビングは世界的に知られている

タフライフィッシュとベラが現れ、大きなマンタの寄生生物を

に入り組んだ水中にテッポウウオが泳いでいた。水の上方

が、この海で楽しめるのはダイビングだけではない。たとえ

ついばみ始めた。マンタたちはこのクリーニング作業を楽し

はフレッシュで澄んでいるが、下方は海水性の塩分躍層に

ば世界有数の美しい環礁であり、当然その写真が数多く

んでいる様子で、しばらくすると周囲にいるマンタは5匹に増

なっている。住まいとしては、かなり個性的な場所だ。といっ

撮影されている場所のひとつ、北パラオにあるカヤンゲル

えていた。

てもこの北パラオの川には海ワニが生息しているから、彼ら

島。ここはまさに典型的な太平洋の環礁のひとつで、チャ

のランチにされないように、こちらも慎重に進んでいた。

ンネルの入口近辺にはハシナガイルカの群れが暮らしてい

下あごの部分がえぐられたようになっている1匹がいた。 おそらく釣り糸かネットに引っかかった際に負った傷なのだろ

パラオ諸島は、疑いなく世界でもっとも美しい場所のひと

る。だから彼ら住人と一緒にスノーケルをすることだって出

う。僕たちのガイドであるヨーコ・ヒガシデは、このマンタを

つだ。片方の端から反対側まで、100マイル以上にわたって

来るし、環礁の中にある、周囲をビーチに囲まれたココナッ

20

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Island Beat

Japan Islands–Micronesia

and, in less than half an hour, you’ll pull into the new parking area for the spectacular central waterfalls of Babeldaob. The drive itself is pleasant as the road rolls over high vistas and down into deep island valleys. The highway is great for cycling as well. Traffic is minimal so far, and the beauty of this island which had only coral and mud roads in the past, can now be more easily appreciated. The jungles hold fruit bats, small wood owls, lots of different birds and some odd insects that look like walking sticks. The hike to the Ngardmau Falls used to run up a river along a canopied jungle path. With road access, it’s now all downhill. You can grab a hiking stick at the path entrance and trudge in. We hiked past the remnants of the pre-WWII bauxite mining area. Rails for the trains run through the jungle along steep valleys. An experienced guide may even be able to show you one or two of the trains that hauled the ore. We had possibly the most experienced guide in

Palau. Pioneer and Scuba Diving Hall of Fame member Francis Toribiong is the founder of Fish 'n Fins. He discovered and explored the reefs, wrecks and land sites as a teenager in the late ’60s. He joined us and led us through a heavily overgrown ridgeline and rail track that ended at two locomotives. We marveled at these abandoned blasts from the past that have been sitting in jungle for more than 60 years. There’s an overlook where the falls are clearly visible down in the jungle. A steep trail heads down toward the falls. Along the way, a feeder river flows across broad rocky flats where you can jump in and cool off in smaller falls and deep pools where tiny fish and freshwater shrimp scurry about. With the exception of a few ropes strung to make the descent along this part of the river safer, the river and falls area is pretty much left to nature. Some steps and a few shelters are found near the falls, so it is not a simple trek. There’s still a swath of trail that can only be described as “Chocolate Avenue” of zōri-sucking mud.

The last leg is across a knee-deep river and over to the falls. They flow from Palau's tallest peak, 713foot high Mount Ngerchelechuus. The falls are at their best after a rain, and the hiking is the coolest when it is raining, so moisture from the sky shouldn’t deter the eager hiker. As the cool, clear water beat down from the heights above, the falls massaged and refreshed us. We ran through the spray and got behind the falls. It’s a natural atrium and is truly one of the Pacific’s best attractions. Relax, cool off and store up some energy. Bring plenty of water, as the hike back is all uphill. There are other falls on this island, such as the popular Ngatpang Waterfall. There’s also a freshwater lake yet to be explored and rumored to be chock full of crocodiles. Back on land, you can also arrange to take a boat or kayak out from Ngeremlengui Village. The Ngermeskang River is unspoiled beauty, ranging in habitat from a mangrove forest at its mouth to a dense jungle farther inland. This river is wonderful

ツグローブの無人島に上陸してみることも出来る。いいガイ

その先にはジャングルの傾斜の急な谷沿いに伸びた列車

川を安全に下りていくために張られた何本かのロープを

ドを見つければ、まだツーリストがほとんど足を踏み入れたこ

の線路も見えてくる。腕のいいガイドが一緒なら、鉱石を運

別にすれば、このエリアでは川も滝も可能な限り自然のまま

とのないまっさらな場所を満喫することも可能だ。

んでいた列車本体も1 ∼ 2本見せてくれるはずだ。

手つかずの姿で守られている。滝の近くには階段やいくつ かのシェルターもあったりして、決して楽なトレックとはいえな

そこまで遠出をするのはちょっとね… という場合は、車

僕たちのガイドは、おそらくパラオでも1、2を争うベテラン

で30分程度で着く新しい駐車場へ出かけ、バベルダオブの

で、パイオニアでありスキューバダイビングの殿堂入りメン

い。簡単に作られた小道は草履を履いていてもひるむよう

壮大なセントラル・ウォーターフォールの絶景を楽しむのも

バーのひとりであるフランシス・トリビオンだった。彼はフィッ

な泥だらけの “チョコレート通り”状態だ。

おすすめ。海抜の高い場所から谷になった低地まで、目ま

シュ・アンド・フィンズの創設者でもある。1960年代の終わり、

ぐるしく景色が変化する道路そのものも魅力的だから、 ドラ

ティーンエイジャーだった彼は、海上での様々な困難に見舞

上に到着する。この滝の出発点は、パラオでもっとも標高 の高いピークである高さ713フィートのゲルチェレチュース

最後のパートではヒザまで浸かる川を越え、ようやく滝の

イブするだけでも楽しめる。また、このハイウェイはサイクリン

われながらも数々のリーフを発見して開拓、上陸していった。

グにも最適だ。いまのところは交通量も少ないし、これまで

その彼が僕らのハイクに加わり、木々が深く生い茂った尾

山。滝がもっとも美しいのは雨が降った後だが、雨中のハ

はコーラルと未舗装の道しかなかったこの島の魅力を存分

根線を抜け、2台の機関車が止まっているところまで続く線

イキングもなかなかクールだ。はるか高いところから冷たくク

に味わえるだろう。ジャングルの中にいるのはオオコウモリ、

路沿いを案内してくれた。ジャングルの中に60年以上も打

リアな水が落ちてくるその光景は、体と心をリフレッシュして

小型のウッドオウル、様々な種類の鳥たち、それにまるで棒

ち捨てられたままの過去の遺物は、静かなたたずまいの中

くれる。そのスプレーの中を走って抜けて、滝の裏側まで進

が歩いているような不思議な昆虫たちも。

にも確かな歴史を感じさせる圧倒的な存在感があった。

ガラスマオの滝へ出かけるには、これまではあの天蓋のよ

ジャングルの中に壮大な滝が姿を見せる場所には、その

めば、そこはまさに自然のアトリウム。太平洋でもトップクラ スの自然のアトラクション。リラックスしてクールオフしてエネ

うなジャングルの木々に沿って川を上っていくしか方法がな

眺めを見渡せるエリアが設けられている。そしてそこから滝

ルギーを補充…そんな時間が待っている。ただし、帰りのハ

かったが、道路が整備されたいま、今度はその道路をひた

の方向へ向けて急な道が下っていく。途中には支流の川

イクはすべてが上り坂だから、必要な水分は十分に持参し ておこう。

すら下っていった先にある。そこから、その小道の入口でハ

が岩で出来た幅の広い平地を横切るように流れる場所が

イキングスティックを手に取り、歩いて入っていく。ハイクの

あって、そこで冷たい水を楽しんだり、水溜りにいる小さな

途中、第二次世界大戦前のボーキサイトの採鉱跡を通り、

魚たちや淡水エビの姿を楽しんだりも出来る。

WINTER

2 0 1 2

島には、同じくポピュラーなガトパン滝など、ここ以外にも いくつかの滝がある。それに、いまだにあまり人が訪れない

21


for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Here we jumped out of the boat and swam to shore. We hiked up the banks and found the remnants of the Japanese pineapple cannery where wild pineapples still grow. This is where kayakers can sneak up on saltwater crocodiles. Speaking of crocs, the eastern side of the island has a jungle river tour fairly famous for croc sightings. The Ngerdorch River winds its way through the jungle and ends up opening into the ocean. Along the way there are ancient fern trees, wild orchids and cannon ball trees. In the rare mangrove forests live endemic birds such as the Palau fruit dove and rusty capped kingfisher. It is here some of the wild crocs have become habituated to getting handouts of chicken from the cruise. The crocs can come up vertically from the water, so keep your elbows inside the boat. Back to scuba—another great northern dive rarely done in Palau is the Ngeremlengui Channel, or The West Passage, off west central Babeldaob. This

has been the only place that a mesekiu, or Palauan dugong, has been photographed underwater. Swift currents mean exciting drifts along steep walls adorned in big coral fans and multi-hued soft corals. Look for big sharks to be drifting by and sea turtles to be munching on hydroids. A short climb into the rock islands of Babeldaob brings you to the Metuker ra Bisech, a quarry of Yapese stone money. These wheel-like pieces of stone sometimes measured more than a meter in diameter. Some still sit in the jungle. We spent the lazy afternoon exploring the final resting sites of Jake-Aichi floatplanes. They sit barely beneath the water on the Babeldaob side of the new bridge. One of the Jakes sits near the cave where the last crocodile to kill a man (1965) in Palau was hunted down. The plane is scattered but the prop and engine are visible. One day trip specially choreographed for extreme adventurers is the Planet Blue Tarzan Tour. Rope swings, cavern free dives and marine tunnels ensure

an action-filled day. Beginning in the isolated Lost Lake, we paddled through a 40-foot tunnel carpeted with soft corals into the inner world of the marine lake. You then navigate a labyrinth of islands west of Ngeruktabel, drift into Belochel Bay and, as the tide continues to drop, snorkel with dive lights into the darkness of a secret tunnel passage to the secluded Tarzan Lake. A free dive (using a snorkel) into the shadows of a limestone cave is followed by seeing the multi-chambered cavern. It features hanging stalactites, soda straws and the “Ice Room.” Top off the exhilarating day by leaping into the sea from towering outcrops. Close to Koror is the world’s largest captive dolphin facility nestled into a beautiful Rock Island setting. Here bottlenose dolphins frolic and perform amazing acrobatics. If you didn’t have any luck with the Kyangel spinner dolphins, here you will be guaranteed to swim with, touch and communicate with big bottlenose dolphins in a very natural reef setting.

淡水湖などもあるが、ここには大量のクロコダイルが暮らし

ワセミも生息している。そして同じその場所に、ボートの上

着陸したまま残されている場所を探訪して過ごした。水上機

ているという噂だ。

にいても恐ろしくなるようなあの野生のクロコダイルも住んで

は新しく作られた橋のバベルダオブ側、水面ギリギリの位置 に置かれている。ジェイクの水上機のうちの1機の近くには

一方の陸でも、ガルメログイの村からボートやカヤックを

いるというわけだ。彼らは水中のほぼ真下から突然現れるこ

手配することが可能だ。またゲルメスカン川は自然のままの

ともあるので、うっかりヒジを外に出していると大変なことに

洞窟があるが、そこは1965年に人間を襲って殺したクロコダ

美をそのまま残している。河口はマングローブの森で、内陸

なるかもしれない。ここはしっかりと注意したい!

イルが捕獲された場所でもある。機体はかなり傷んではいる

に入るにつれてうっそうとしたジャングルへ景色が変化してい

スキューバに話を戻そう。パラオの北にあり、まだ人も少

く。この川は自然を愛する人にも冒険好きにも、どちらにも

ないいいダイブサイトは、バベルダオブ島のウェストセントラ

今回のデイトリップのメインのひとつは、 プラネット・ブルー・

うってつけの場所。ここで僕らはボートから飛び降りて、岸

ル沖にあるゲルムロングイチャンネル、別名ウェストパッセー

ターザンツアーだった。マリントンネルを進むダイブはアク

まで泳いだ。そこから歩いてバンクを上ると、かつての日本

ジだ。ここはパラオ語でジュゴンを意味するメセキウの姿が、 ション満載のアトラクション。スタートは人里離れた雰囲気

が、プロペラやエンジンはまだちゃんと付いたままだった。

のパイナップル缶詰工場が見えてくるが、驚いたことにいま

世界で唯一水中で撮影された場所として知られる。カレント

もここではパイナップルがしっかり実っていた。さらにまたこ

が速く、傾斜のあるウォールに沿って激しく ドリフトするため、 フィートのトンネルをパドルで抜け、マリンレイク内側の世界

のロストレイクで、そこからソフトコーラルで敷きつめられた40

こは、カヤック乗りが海水に住むクロコダイルに注意しなが

大きなコーラルやマルチカラーのソフトコーラルをたくさん見

へ入り込んでいくのだ。さらにその後ゲルクタベルの西側に

ら進まなくてはいけない場所でもある。

ることが出来る。他にも付近をクルーズする大型のシャーク

あるラビリンスのような島々を通り、ベロチェルベイへと移動

や、ヒドロ虫を食べ漁るウミガメにも出会える場所だ。

し、潮が引き続けている間はダイブライトを手にして、スノー

クロコダイルといえば、島の東側ではジャングルリバーツ アーも楽しめるが、このツアーではかなりの確率でクロコダ

バベルダオブのロックアイランドを少し登っていくと、ヤッ

ケルで真っ暗なトンネル状のパッセージを進んでいく。すると

イルに遭遇出来ることで有名だ。ゲルドルク川はジャングル

プの石貨を作っていた石切り場がある。石を車輪のような

その先に、まるで世の中のすべてのことからかい離したよう

を曲がりくねって抜けながら流れ、その後に海へと流れ込ん

ピースに切り出して石貨を作るわけだが、なかには直径が1

なターザンレイクがある。フリーダイブ(スノーケルを使って)

でいく。途中には古代から生き続ける木生シダや野生のラ

メートルを越えるものもあり、いまもジャングルの中にいくつ

で石灰岩のほら穴を進めば、その先には無数の部屋になっ

ンやキャノンボールツリーが生えているし、マングローブの森

かが残されたままになっている。

特有の珍しい鳥、パラオフルーツダブやこの場所固有のカ

22

ているような洞窟が待っている。釣り下がる鍾乳石、ソーダ

その午後は、ジェイク・アイチのフロート水上機が最後に

WINTER

2 0 1 2

ストロー、それに “アイスルーム” 。そして最後はそびえたつ


Island Beat

Japan Islands–Micronesia

The dolphins love to play, and one of the more advanced tours offers you a chance to be one-onone or, in our case, one-on-two with them. Yoko was able to dive down and swim along the sea floor, get a free ride on the dolphin’s dorsal and shoot up to the surface, flanked on both sides by the playful bottlenose buddies. Of course, one can’t miss the big two must-see dive sites in the south. There is a world-class dive site called Blue Corner. This is considered one of the world’s best boat dives. The south also has German Channel, a favorite spot to watch manta rays feed and big schools of jacks and snapper congregate. Plus, there’s the Rock Islands, one of the most beautiful natural formations in the world. Blue Corner diving is addictive. Dive when the tide changes and the current is moving for the most action. It seems the stronger the current, the more action you’ll find. We started along a steep wall and immediately gray reef sharks cruised by to see what we were doing while our guide chose to stay out

in the blue water. Here we found dense shoals of bigeye jacks and blackbar barracuda. Gray reef and white reef sharks routinely cruised by between the reef wall and us. Then, off in the distance, we saw a massive wahoo. This big game fish would have been a trophy for any angler. We eventually made our way to the Corner, gliding through a dense cloud of snapper and into a group of longnose barracuda. Fishy, fast and fun; that’s Blue Corner. The next day, we timed our dive for the incoming tide at German Channel. When the thick school of red snapper there start to feed, it gets exciting as well. A sailfish cruised by above us; its sail almost out of the water. Manta rays come into the channel at this time to eat the open water plankton shoveled through the channel passage. Mouths agape, they eat and swoop. We hung out at six meters and just watched the show. They barrel-rolled and did “aquabatics” no other fish can do. At the end, they were full of food and we, too, had

had our fill of excitement. Most of the major tour and dive operations now offer various forms of land tours to the north. Diving here and snorkeling is bound to also increase as an alternative to the popular southern dive sites. It’s still largely untouched and exploration is in its infancy. In the evenings the last call of native birds echoes down the Babeldaob river valleys. Clouds hang low over the jungle and they glow with the warm gold of the sunset. We sat high on a hill, looking out to the barrier reef and Devilfish City. We listened to the breeze blow over the northern hills. “Palau is full of surprises,” Toribiong told me, and the north will surely produce more as the years go by. ✤

露頭から海へとダイブする。

なかでも、タイドが変化してカレントが動いている時のダイブ

バティック” とでも言うべき、彼らにしか出来ない動きを繰り

コロールの近く、美しいロックアイランドには、世界でも

が一番いい。しかもカレントが強くなるほど、目に出来るアク

返しながら、最後には彼らのお腹もいっぱいになり、6メート

最大級と呼ばれるドルフィンの生息地がある。バンドウイル

ションの数も増えていくようだ。僕らの場合は、傾斜のある

ルほど離れた場所からそのショーを見ていたわれわれも十分

カが自由に遊び回り、運が良ければキャンゲル・スピナード

ウォールに沿って進むや否や、すぐにグレーリーフシャークに

にエキサイティングな時間を満喫した。

ルフィンにも出会えるが、そうでなくても大きなバンドウイルカ

遭遇し、ガイドにはそのまま青一色の水中に留まるようにと

メジャーなツアーやダイブオペレーションでは、現在北へ

と一緒に泳いだり、触れ合ったりする可能性はほぼ確実に

言われた。ビッグアイジャックやブラックバーバラクーダの群

のランドツアーなど、様々なオプションを設けているところが

保証される自然のままのリーフだ。遊び好きなドルフィンたち

れとも出会った。リーフウォールと僕らの周囲を、グレーリー

多い。北でのダイビングやスノーケリングは、いまや南の有

と、1対1で触れ合いながら時間を過ごせる貴重な場所であ

フとホワイトリーフの各シャークが交互にクルーズしていく。

名ダイブサイトに優るとも劣らないオプションになりつつあ る。といってもまだまだ人は少なく、自然も残ったままだ。

る。ヨーコも1頭のドルフィンと一緒に海底を泳ぎ回り、 ドル

少し先を見れば、そこには巨大なワーフ―。この大きな釣

フィンの胴体につかまって海面まで上り、しかもその周囲に

用魚は、釣り師にとってはまさにトロフィーそのもののような

バベルダオブのリバーバレーに鳥の最後の鳴き声が響い

もさらに2頭のドルフィンが並走して泳いでいた。なんとも貴

存在だ。そしてそのまま濃い雲のようにたくさんのスナッパー

てくると、時間はもう夜だ。ジャングルの上空には雲が低く

重な体験を楽しんでいたのである。

と、 ロングノーズバラクーダの一群の間を抜けて移動し、 コー

垂れこめ、サンセットの輝く暖かな光に包まれる。丘の上に

ナーへとたどり着いた。どこを見ても魚たちがいて、スピード

座り、バリアリーフやデビルフィッシュシティへ視線を送る。

そしてもちろん、南にある有名ダイブサイトのビッグ2も忘 れちゃいけない。ひとつはワールドクラスのダイブサイト、通

感のある楽しさがある。それがブルーコーナーだった。

北の丘を抜ける風の音を聞きながら、 「パラオはサプライズ

称ブルーコーナー。世界最高のボートダイブとされている場

翌日のダイブは満潮を狙ってジャーマンチャンネルへ。 レッ

に満ちた場所だ」とトリビオンが教えてくれた。そしてこれか

所だ。さらに、 マンタのエサを食べる場所で、 ジャックやスナッ

ドスナッパーの大群が食事を始める頃には、ここでもまたエ

ら先は、北がさらにたくさんのサプライズを生み出してくれる

パーの大きい群れがいるジャーマンチャンネルもこの南側に

キサイティングな光景が繰り広げられた。僕らのすぐ上をセ

ことだろう。✤

ある。それに、世界でもっとも美しいフォーメーションのひと

イルフィッシュがクルーズし、この時間帯にはプランクトンを

つと呼ばれるロックアイランドも。

食べるためにマンタもチャンネル内に入ってくる。口を大きく

ブルーコーナーでのダイブは本当に素晴らしい体験だ。

開け、大量に飲み込んでいく彼ら。バレルロールや “アクア

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23


Island Beat Japan Islands–Micronesia COMPACT ROAD?

Palau’ s Compact Road got its name because it was built under an agreement called the Compact of Free Association, under which Palau negotiated its independent status from the USA (1986). The Department of the Interior contracted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plan, design and manage construction of the road. When s $150 million it opened in October of 2007, it was touted as Palau’ “Road to the Future.”Until then, Babeldaob’ s northern and inner reaches were difficult to reach except by boat.

TRAVELER INFO

Language: English is the official language and is commonly spoken and understood. Many elderly people are also fluent in Japanese. Getting There: Continental Airlines has daily flights to Palau from Japan or Hong Kong via Guam. Getting Around: Taxis are plentiful and can be called to most locations but are not cheap. Rental cars, buses and local boats are available. Entry & Exit: Visitors must have a valid passport. A departure tax of US$20 cash is payable at check-in before receiving a boarding pass. Save some extra cash, as credit cards are not accepted. Money, Banking and Credit Cards: The U.S. dollar is the official currency. There are several U.S. FDIC insured banks operating in the Federated States of Micronesia. Most major credit cards are welcome at visitor-oriented businesses. Time: Palau is 10 hours ahead of GMT. Electricity: Standard 110 volt and U.S. type outlets are used. t readily available Adapters and converters will be needed and aren’ for those with 220 systems, so best to bring your own. Weights & Measures: The U.S. system of weights and measures is used. Depths are registered in feet and weights in pounds. All dive gear is oriented this way.

TRAVELER IN-SITES

Fish 'n Fins: www.fishnfins.com Planet Blue Tarzan Tour: www.samstours.com Palau Visitors Authority: www.visit-palau.com

コンパクトロード

パラオのコンパクトロードは、パラオが1986年にアメリカからの独立 を果たした際に用いられたコンパクト・オブ・フリー・アソシエーショ ンと呼ばれる条約からその名を取ったもの。The Department of the Interiorは、道路の企画、デザイン、建設管理に関してアメリカ陸軍 工兵隊と契約を交わした。2007年10月に開通したその道路は、パラ “未来への道” となった。その道路が完成する オの1億5000万ドルの 以前、バベルダオブより北寄りの内陸部はボート以外ではアクセスが 困難なエリアだった。

トラベラー・インフォ

言語:公用語は英語で、一般的に広く使われている。年配の人の 中には日本語が堪能な人もいる。 アクセス:コンチネンタル航空が日本から、また香港からもグアム経 由で毎日就航している。 移動:タクシーは数多く走っていて、ほとんどの場所から呼ぶことも可 能だが、決して安くはない。レンタカー、バス、ローカルボートもあり。 出入国:ビジターは有効なパスポート必携。出国税のUS20ドルの キャッシュは搭乗券を受け取る前にチェックインで支払う。クレジット カードは使えないのでキャッシュの用意をしておこう。 通貨、銀行、クレジットカード:公式通貨はアメリカドル。ミクロネシ ア連邦州で営業しているアメリカのFDIC銀行がいくつかある。ビジ ターが多いビジネスならほとんどのクレジットカードが使用可能。 時間:パラオはGMTと10時間差。 電気:スタンダード110ボルト、アメリカタイプのコンセントが使われる。 220のシステムには対応していないので、その場合はアダプターやコ ンバーターを持参するのがベスト。 単位:重量も計測もアメリカ式。深さはフィート、重さはポンド。ダイブ ギアもすべてがこの方式で表記されている。 フィッシュ・アンド・フィンズ: www.fishnfins.com プラネット・ブルー・ターザンツアー : www.samstours.com パラオビジターズオーソリティー : www.visit-palau.com

24

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www.oberoihotels.com

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25


Powder Room With a View 田 沢 湖 とパ ウダ ー ヘ ブ ン By Neil Hartmann

26

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Akita Prefecture's Lake Tazawa region barely registers on Japan’s tourism radar. Yet it is paradise for winter lovers and a “Top Five” destination for hot spring fanatics. I first traveled to Tazawa-ko Ski Resort about six years ago after hearing rumors of long, powder-filled runs, stunning lake views and friendly locals. I got up there late in the season and enjoyed some fun spring conditions but vowed to return and "get it good" during Tohoku's peak winter season. What follows are the chronicles of my triumphant return. 秋田県に位置する田沢湖は、観光レーダーにはなかなか引っ掛からない場所だ。でも実は、 冬山好きにはもちろん、温泉マニアにとっても5本の指に入る屈指のパラダイスなのである。 パウダーヘブンのロングランと見事な湖の景色、そしてフレンドリーなローカル達の噂を聞きつ けて、僕が最初にたざわ湖スキー場を訪れたのは6年程前のこと。シーズン終盤だったものの、 スプリング・コンディションを十分に満喫することができた。そして次回は東北のベストシーズ ンに戻ってこようと誓ったのだ。そんな訳で、これは僕の田沢湖へ凱旋した時の旅のお話。

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27


F

irst, a little geography. Check out that map of Japan you probably have pinned up on your wall somewhere or stuck in the glove box of your car. At the center of Akita Prefecture you’ll see an almost perfectly round crater lake. This is Lake Tazawa (Tazawa-ko), Japan's deepest lake at 423 meters, known for a striking mirror effect that mimics the color of the passing seasons, from jade green to sapphire blue. There is a mysterious atmosphere here, perhaps due to the long spiritual history of the area where you will find famous shrines such as Goza-no-Ishi on the north shore and a huge statue of Buddha towering over the area near the lake. If you live in Hokkaido like me, the best way to travel to Akita is by car. Take the ferry to Akita Port, and from there it is a scenic 90-minute drive to the lake region. If you are coming from the Kanto area, you will probably want to hop on the Komachi Shinkansen (bullet train). You’ll pull into Tazawa-ko Station three hours and 10 minutes later. The bullet

28

train has been arriving at this nice little station since 1997, and from here everything is a short taxi or bus ride away. There are three things you will want to do when you visit Tazawa-ko in winter. Ski, ski and ski. OK, maybe that’s unfair. Let's say ski, soak and, uh, survey? Ski at Tazawa-ko Resort, soak your weary bones in the famous Nyuto Onsen and then peer out at the view of the beautiful lake. This is exactly what we did. During the first week of February, my crew drove our collective cars off the ferry in Akita and into a brewing storm. We arrived at our rental house near the base of Tazawa-ko Resort in the early afternoon, welcomed by the view of Mt. Komagatake. The resort’s courses lie on the lower slopes of this triple-peaked mountain. The highest peak (Onamaedake at 1,637 meters) is an active volcano that last erupted in 1970 — not so long ago, really. Volcanic activity means big mountains and hot springs, my favorite combination.

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The resort has 13 courses, the steepest of which is the Ginrei Paradise course at 34 degrees and, my personal favorite, the Kuromori Course. On the far left of the resort, a single chair lift accesses this steep course, but don't show up late; the lift closes at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays. Less than half of the course is groomed while the rest is a powder paradise, as most of the people riding the ancient lift are young local ski team kids training on the steep and groomed section of the slope. You won't find a gondola at Tazawa; just six lifts with two nice hooded quads boasting a capacity of 9,699 passengers per hour. But don't worry; you will never see that many people. Even on the weekend, we did not stand in line once or rush to find fresh powder. Tazawa-ko Resort has a long history of ski racing, and they certainly seem to be doing their best to produce the next generation of ski champions. We stayed close to a week, and every day there was either a race or a group of kids in speed-suits


u will ings yoit Tazawah t e e r K, are th ou vis There o do when y ki and ski. Oki, t s s want inter. Ski, r. Let's say ko in w that’s unfai ey? maybend, uh, surv が3つ ないこと ーだ。 せ 外 soak a ら 来た スキ

そして 沢湖に 冬の田 キーとスキー、れど、スキーと温 て ある。ス たいところだけ 探索とでもし 景 …と言いから… まあ風 泉、それ おこう。

ずは地理について少々。家のどこかに貼ってある日

2月の第1週目、僕は仲間たちと何台かの車を連ねてフェ

スキーの大会や国体の舞台としての長い歴史を持つたざ

本地図を見て頂きたい。ないという人は車のグローブ

リーに乗り込んだ。吹雪の中、たざわ湖スキー場の麓に借

わ湖スキー場は、次世代のスキー選手の育成にも力を入れ

ボックスを捜索してみよう。秋田県の内陸に真ん丸のカル

りたロッジに辿り着いた僕達を秋田駒ケ岳が出迎えてくれ

ている。僕らの1週間の滞在中にも、スピードスーツを着た

デラ湖を見つけられただろうか。それこそが日本一の最大水

た。このスキー場は3つの峰を持つ駒ケ岳の中腹に位置し

子供たちがレースや練習に励む姿を毎日のように目にした。

深(423m) を誇る田沢湖で、翡翠色からサファイアブルーま

ている。一番高い峰である男女岳(おなめだけ、1,637m)

で様々な色で季節を写し取る鏡面の水面が美しい。古い

は活火山で、最後の噴火は1970年だというからそう昔の話

のか、他の客がどこを滑ろうが構っている暇はないのだろう。

伝説を持ち、北岸に御座石神社を構え、近くには金色大

ではない。なにはともあれ、火山があるところに大きな山と

日本のリゾートはとかくロープと立ち入り禁止サインの多さで

観音がそびえ立つ田沢湖には、どこか神秘的な雰囲気が

温泉あり。僕の大好きな組み合わせである。

漂っている。 僕のように北海道に住んでいる人達にとっては、車での

スキー場には13のコースがあって、34度の最高斜度を誇 るのが “ぎんれいパラダイスコース” 、そして僕のお気に入り

アクセスがベストだろう。フェリーに乗って秋田港へ降り立っ

は “黒森山コース” だ。ここもなかなかスティープなコースで、

たら、美しい90分のドライブで田沢湖エリアに到着だ。関

リゾート左側に位置する一人乗りリフトでアクセスできる。た

パトロールやスタッフは皆このレースに駆り出されている

有名(偽パトロールの振りをしたマネキンまで立っている所 だってある!)だけれど、ここではどこにも見当たらない。古き 良き自由の風がまだ吹き続けているのだ。 木々の間を縫ってコースから次のコースへと続くそのパウ ダーの深さに、笑った顔が戻らない。山は大きくてコースの

東地域からなら、こまち新幹線が3時間10分で田沢湖駅ま

だ平日のリフト運転は10:30までとなっているので、寝坊し

幅も広いことが圧雪エリアを最小限に留めてくれる。とはい

で連れて行ってくれる。1997年に新幹線の停車駅になった

ないように気をつけよう ! 圧雪エリアは全コースの半分以

え、家族連れにも十分に楽しめるスキー場だ。ベース近く

この駅から湖までは、タクシーかバスのアクセスが便利だ。

下で、あとの残りはまるまるパウダー天国だ。古いリフトに乗

のワイドで緩やかなコースは初心者や子供たちにはパーフェ

冬の田沢湖に来たら外せないことが3つある。スキーとス

り込むのは、ほとんどが圧雪された急斜面で練習に励む地

クトだし、地元料理をふるまうスキーセンターのレストランも かなり良い感じだ。焼きそばも生姜ラーメンも何を食べても

キー、そしてスキーだ。 ・・・と言いたいところだけれど、スキー

元のスキーチームの子どもたちだ。スキー場にゴンドラはな

と温泉、それから・・・まあ風景探索とでもしておこう。たざ

く、4本の2人乗りリフトと2本のフード付きクアッドリフトがあ

新鮮で美味しく、普段はスキー場の食事はどうも避けてしま

わ湖スキー場で滑り、かの有名な乳頭温泉で疲れた体を癒

るだけだ。総輸送人数は1時間につき9,699人だそうなのだ

う僕でさえ見直してしまった。

し、美しい湖の眺めにため息をつくのだ。そう、それこそまさ

が、ご心配なく。週末でさえリフト待ちの列ともパウダーの取

に僕達がしたことそのままだ。

り合いとも無縁だったから。

WINTER

たざわ湖スキー場は西向きで、どのコースからも眼下に田 沢湖の素晴らしい景色が広がる。もちろん見えたら、の話だ

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29


keeps t water r n e c u l n-trans , yet ou The noights hiddenuntain men- an most s f young mo med to have n crew o oarders see rent effect o snowb unate deter bath. unfort entering the うど良い 湯がちょ れでも、 ladies の 色 白 そ 乳 独特の なってくれる。 集 団の 男 目隠しに うな若い雪 山 性 達 に 女 よ る の く て 僕ら ようだ。 は、入っ 入 浴 姿 与えてしまった 警戒心を

bashing gates for practice. The resort’s focus on racing seems to keep the patrol and everyone so busy, they don't have time or interest to worry about where everyone else rides. Japanese resorts are famous for ropes and signs — even fake patrol mannequins — to keep people on the course and out of the powderfilled tree runs. However, you won't find that at Tazawa-ko. An air freedom from a long lost era still remains. Darting in and out of the trees, we bounced from course to course, laughing at the ridiculous powder everywhere. The mountain is big and a lot of the courses are very wide, and this combination keeps the grooming to a minimum. The natural snow condition doesn't mean it is not family friendly. The wide rolling courses on the lower slopes are perfect for teaching a child or friend how to ski or board. Plus you won't want to miss the resort center featuring a nice variety of local cuisine. I have never been a fan of ski resort food, but Tazawa-ko’s mouth-

30

watering yakisoba, ginger ramen and other local cuisine items, all made fresh, changed my tune. The resort generally faces west with stunning views of the lake while riding down —  when you can see the lake, that is. Caught in a week-long storm, most days we explored the mountain while staying close together due to bad visibility. I would recommend staying on the hill until near sunset for the best chance to see the lake. On more than one day, the clouds broke near sunset, and we were treated to panoramic shots of the lake that stopped us in our tracks. A natural spotlight shimmered on the lake as the sun sparkled off the towering Buddha statue. This image has been burned in my mind and my hard disk forever.

Nyuto Onsen On the worst day of the storm, with the wind howling outside, we decided to spend a day at nearby Nyuto Onsen — soaking it up. Nyuto Onsen is made up of seven rather small ryokan (Japanese

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inns), each with its own hot spring source. One of the most famous is 350-year-old Tsurunoyu. Originally a place of therapy for the ruling lords of Akita, Tsurunoyu began welcoming the general public in the late 1600s. The thatched roofed buildings have been well preserved, and you can still stay in one of the rooms that housed vacationing feudal lords so many years ago. The water at Tsurunoyu is milky in color, hence the name “nyuto,” which means "Mother’s Milk.” Be warned; nearly all the rotenburo (outdoor baths) at Nyuto are mixed bathing. The non-translucent water keeps most sights hidden, yet our crew of young mountain men-snowboarders seemed to have an unfortunate deterrent effect on ladies entering the bath. Even today the hot springs are quite remote, cell phone service is patchy at best, and the long winding road in, although now made easy with today's snowclearing machines, seems to have kept Nyuto out of the 21st century. Soaking in the bath and watching


が。僕達は1週間続いた吹雪のおかげでかなり視界の悪い

心を与えてしまったようだ。

付かない。地形はそんなにハードではないものの、コンディ

日が多く、はぐれないよう注意しながら滑っていた。それでも

携帯電話の電波の悪さや、除雪車のおかげで随分走り

夕暮れ近くの時間まで粘ってみれば、湖が見られる可能性

やすくなったとはいえここに着くまでの長いくねくね道が、21

知識と経験が必要だろう。春ならば山頂までハイクしてス

が高いと思う。僕らの滞在中も何度かこの時間に、目の前

世紀とは思えない秘湯の雰囲気を守りぬいているようだ。

キー場に合流するロングランを楽しむのも良さそうだが、残念

に広がる田沢湖のパノラマビューに出会うことができた。雲

温泉に浸かり、 しんしんと降る雪が舞い降りてはお湯に溶け

ながらこの日はそんなコンディションではなかった。僕らは林

の切れ目から刺す自然のスポットライトが湖を照らし出し、観

て行く様子を眺めていると、300年前にタイムスリップしたよ

道から離れすぎないように注意して、楽しそうなセクションを

音像もキラキラと輝いていた。この風景は僕の心に永遠に

うな感覚を覚えた。

見つけながら深い雪の中を滑り続けた。安くて楽しくて、なか なか知られていないバックカントリーの遊び方のひとつだ。

焼き付いて、ハードディスクにもしっかりと保存されたのだ。

乳頭温泉郷

ション次第では危険になり得るので、しっかりとした冬山の

田沢湖キャットスキー

スキーと温泉と風景探索の5日間が過ぎ、僕達はしぶし

ロッジで天気予報を見ながら、どうやらこの頑固な吹雪は

ぶと帰り支度に取り掛かった。これがさすらいのウィンター・

外は風が吹き荒れる大吹雪。まさに温泉日和!と言う訳

しばらく居座る気満々らしいと気付いた。青空は望めないに

バムの宿命なのだ。新たなディープ・パウダーの噂を聞き

で僕達は乳頭温泉で1日を過ごすことにした。乳頭温泉郷

しても、せっかくだから駒ケ岳の8合目まで登るキャットツアー

つけては新天地へと旅立つのである。でもその前にもう一

は7つの小さな旅館で構成されていて、それぞれに独自の源

に行ってみようということになった。5キロほど離れた、今は

本だけ!山頂に上がって皆で集合写真を撮っていると、3人

泉を有している。特に有名なのが350年の歴史を持つ鶴の

営業休止となっているスキー場から出発して、雪上車はく

のスノーボーダーと遭遇した。少なくても60代位に見えるフ

湯だ。かつて秋田藩主の湯治場だったという由緒ある温泉

ねった林道をずんずん登って行った。

レンドリーな夫婦とその友達は、10年前にスノーボードを始

で、庶民にむけて解放されたのは1600年代後半だそう。藩

8合目小屋に到着し、僕らを降ろした雪上車が去って行

めたという熱い地元の方達だった。またおいでねと言い残し

く。夏には高山植物が咲き乱れて生命あふれるこの山も、

て、3人はスプレーと共に林の中に颯爽と消えて行った。そ

態が素晴らしく、今でもここに宿泊することができる。乳頭

今は見渡す限り静まり返っている。とは言っても、実はそん

う、そこには彼らを阻むロープの姿はない。無人の3キロク

温泉の露天風呂は殆どが混浴なのだが、独特の乳白色の

なに遠くまで見渡すことはできなかった。強い風が吹きつけ、

ルージングを満喫してベースに戻った僕らは、田沢湖に別れ

湯がちょうど良い目隠しになってくれる。それでも、僕らのよう

視界はせいぜい20 ∼ 30メートルしかない状態だったのだ。

を告げた。

な若い雪山男集団の入浴姿は、入ってくる女性達に警戒

たざわ湖スキー場の運営するキャットサービスにはガイドは

主たちが寝泊まりしていたという茅葺屋根の長屋は保存状

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田沢湖よ、ありがとう。また戻ってくるよ。✤

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the snow flakes fall and melt in the hot water, we imagined slipping back in time 300 years.

Tazawa-ko Cats Consulting weather reports in our lodge at night, we realized this stubborn storm had no plans of leaving the area. Although sunshine was not in the cards, we decided to explore further into the backcountry with a cat tour to the 8th Station of Mt. Komagatake. Tazawa-ko offers a simple alternative to lift-serviced slopes with a one-way cat ride taking you up a long, winding road higher on the mountain. The cat tour departs from a now defunct ski hill about five kms. up the road. In summer, the area is teaming with life, a high alpine wonderland of flower and fauna, but when the cat drove away and left us next to the simple

mountain hut, there were no other signs of life as far as we could see. Not that we could see very far; the visibility was down to 20 to 30 meters, and the wind was blowing hard. Tazawa-ko's cat service does not come with any guiding and, although the terrain is not overly extreme, the conditions can be. I would recommend a high level of mountain navigation experience for those interested. In spring, we’d take a short hike to the peak followed by a long run all the way back to the base of the ski area. This wasn’t an option on this day, so we stuck close to the cat road, looking for short lines and sections to make some turns. The snow was deep and we had a blast the whole way down. It’s a cheap, fun and little-known option for exploring the backcountry.

After five days of skiing, soaking and….surveying it was time for us to grudgingly move on. Such is the life for the vagabond winter bum. Rumors of deep powder in other places beckoned and new horizons to look upon — but not before one more run. We snapped a few group shots at the top of the resort where we spotted three snowboarders who looked to be at least in their 60s. We chatted for a moment with the friendly couple and their friend — die-hard locals who started snowboarding about 10 years ago. They invited us to come back again soon and then, with a slash and a spray, they disappeared into the trees — and why not — there were no ropes stopping them. We enjoyed a nice 3K cruiser on the way back to base ourselves. Thank you, Tazawa-ko; we will be back. ✤

ort -ko Res Tazawa キー場  ス たざわ湖 46-2011 7) ils. ki.com Tel: (018 w.tazawako-s e 62) for more deta g w a w (P : e id Web orts Gu ジ) に。 ペー inter Sp uide (62 Sports G Winter

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Y R T N U CO

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there d n a l— unne e winner t r e riz ord . ng b bel P o o l 1948 N e s h n t i n i f o en eg e out .” Thus b try, writt m a c try un train coun Snow Co w “The o n the s wabata’s was Ka nari u s a Y

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This isolation cultivated a unique culture for the people here. There was a distinctive Snow Country style of life, with clothing, architecture, foods, crafts and a spirit shaped by these harsh winters, but also by the equally pleasant summers.

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S

ixty years later, entering Snow Country elicits the same emotion. The bullet train (or car if you are on the expressway) travels through the tunnel much faster than in 1948 — but the sensation that you are suddenly stepping into another world as you emerge from the tunnel into Snow Country remains the same. Sitting at home or in your office on a clear winter day in Tokyo, you might wonder if there will even be enough snow to make a snowball, much less go skiing or snowboarding. The Kanto Plain region to the south is often dry with blue skies overhead in winter. Ahead, though, the dark mountain ranges begin to rise higher and higher. An hour after stepping on the Shinkansen in Tokyo, you enter the 11-kilometer tunnel that pierces the towering wall of mountains. Once on the other side everything has changed, a white world materializes in front of you transformed by snow. The snowfall here is among the heaviest in the world. Winds flowing across the Sea of Japan to the north and west pick up vast amounts of moisture. As the winds come onto land, they are thrown high by the front-range mountains. They cool, then drop all that moisture as meters and meters of snow. Part of the magic Kawabata conveys to readers, which previous generations, reading earlier writings also discovered — was that those snowfalls literally locked some areas away from the rest of Japan. Before the invention of paved roads, plows and trains, it was almost impossible to get to these places in winter months. Even as recently as 2006, parts of the Sakae and Tsunan area were literally snowed in for days without any access to the outside world, until troops from Japan’s Self Defense Force came to dig them out.

This isolation cultivated a unique culture for the people here. There was a distinctive Snow Country style of life, with clothing, architecture, foods, crafts and a spirit shaped by these harsh winters, but also by the equally pleasant summers. All that snow meant an abundance of fresh water, and the region was — and still is — famous for its delicious rice, sake

THE SNOW COUNTRY REGION Meguro Residence Echigo-kawaguchi Koide

Tokamachi

Echigo Yukikura-kan

UONUMA

Urasa

MATSUNOYAMA TOKAMACHI ONSEN Muikamachi Morinomiyahara

Tsunan GALA TSUNAN Yuzawa

ECHIGO-YUZAWA ONSEN Yuzawa Museum of

MINAMI UONUMA Echigo-Yuzawa Oze National Park

MINAKAMI History and Folklore and hot springs. Ashiyu Modern transportation SAKAE YUZAWA has made it easier for Minakami KANETSU travelers from around the EXPRESS WAY JR LINE globe to visit the Snow JR JOETSU Jomo Kogen SHINKANSEN LINE Country; and they can still HOKUETSU EXPRESS HOKUHOKU LINE experience the pace of life and all that is on offer. Yet the irony is not lost that the through Yuzawa, Tsunan, Minami-Uonuma, frenetic pace at which people live in the city Tokamachi and Uonuma. All easily accessible has drawn them back to the analog lifestyle. today, even in the snowiest months. Now, more than ever, people need to escape What they all share, apart from deep to these places that were once inescapable. snow, are the mountains. Rows and rows of Visitors, however, will not be short of things mountain ranges, with the cities, rivers, train to immerse themselves in. Snow Country lines and roads running along the valleys. boasts one of the largest concentrations of ski areas in the country. Yuzawa alone THE SNOW RESORTS has more than 20 ski resorts. Relaxing Snow is what made Snow Country and aesthetically beautiful onsen — hot famous: even earlier than Snow Country, an springs — are located throughout the 1837 book called Hokuetsu Seppu, “Snow region. There are festivals throughout the Stories of North Etsu,” became a best-seller season that tell the tales of people living in Japan for its descriptions of life in the surrounded by walls of snow, and delicious region, isolated from the rest of the country foods that draw on the nearby Sea of Japan. because of the deep snow. Later on, that There’s something for everyone  —  even snow became the basis for the development those who prefer to observe rather than dive of hot spring and ski resorts throughout the into — the snow of Snow Country. region — close to Tokyo, but a world apart. Much of Kawabata’s novel was written Yuzawa gets a special nod, as it is without in Takahan, the famous Yuzawa ryokan a doubt the biggest resort area in the Snow where he stayed. His room, Country Region. It became incredibly popular Kasumi-no-ma, still contains doing the ski boom years of the 1980s, which related documents (and can coincided with the bubble years of the be visited from 9 a.m. to 5 Japanese economy. It was often impossible pm.; admission ¥500, or to drive or even park in the immediate free if you are staying at the area — so people would leave their cars in ryokan). nearby towns and take the train to Yuzawa. As a result, most people Today, the slopes are far less frantic, and think of Yuzawa as the it's common to ski straight onto the lifts. heart of Snow Country, but Another legacy of the boom years, though, in fact the region stretches are the ubiquitous resort apartments near from Minakami in Gunma the slopes in the area, many now attractive in the south, west to Sakae investments for urban dwellers looking for in Nagano, and to the north their own place in Snow Country.

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When the snow is really falling, most areas become powder fields as groomed runs slowly get covered with deep soft snow.

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Naeba is the most famous of the Yuzawaarea resorts. It was the place to go in the ski boom years of the '80s and early '90s, with the 1,242-room Naeba Prince Hotel stretching across the base — a huge facility providing ski-in, ski-out access and a wide choice of après-ski fun. Today it is connected to the Kagura, Tashiro and Mitsumata ski areas by the “Dragondola,” one of the world’s longest gondolas, forming one huge ski area called Mt. Naeba with seemingly endless terrain to explore (even on a multi-day trip). With so many choices, how do you decide where to go? Start with what you are interested in. Easy access: There is nowhere in the world where public transport and skiing meet as smoothly as at GALA Yuzawa. You can get off the Joetsu Shinkansen at GALA Yuzawa Station and board the gondola for the top — without ever leaving the station building. By car, Norn Minakami is just off the Kanetsu Expressway, with some of the other Yuzawa and Minami Uonuma resorts likewise just a short distance from the highway. Families/small children: Many of the larger areas have put extra effort into enhanced facilities and programs for families and children  —  Naeba is a good example of a resort that has moved from a focus on young adults/couples to embrace families. Several small areas (some with just a single lift) are perfect for families with gentle slopes and ski schools and other services available. Resorts geared for kids and newbies include Ludens Resort, Yuzawa Nakazato Ski Resort, Ipponsugi (Yuzawa), Sakae Club Ski Resort, Mountain Park Tsunan and New Greenpia Tsunan. Powder: When the snow is really falling,

most areas become powder fields as groomed runs slowly get covered with deep soft snow. Particularly famous for holding on to powder stashes are Kagura and Tanigawadake Tenjindaira, considered one of Japan’s big three heavy-snowfall resorts (average February snow depth: 397 cms.). Park: Not just for boarders any more, parks lure people who like jumping off, onto and sliding across some manmade terrain and objects. Ishiuchi Maruyama has half pipes, jumps, rails and a kids' park, while the big resorts of Naeba and Joetsu Kokusai have also put in some impressive jumps and terrain to play on, including some large-scale kickers at the latter. Moguls: Many of the areas have steep and ungroomed sections that breed bumps. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Naeba will host an FIS World Cup moguls event Feb. 18-19, with an after party to follow in the village. Skiers only: NASPA New Otani, one of the last resorts in Japan that does not allow boarders. Spring skiing: Okutadami Maruyama has one of the most interesting seasons. The resort above Lake Okutadami opens in December, then yields to the heavy snow and closes from early January to midMarch — but then reopens and operates until the late spring. Tanigawadake Tenjindaira also remains open until late May, due to the heavy snowfall. Backcountry: Unlike some areas, backcountry access is actually permitted at Kagura; Tanigawa Tenjindaira has a loyal following, although the official policy is less clear and having a guide is recommended. Avalanche conditions can be severe at both, and you will be responsible for your own safety once outside the resort

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area, and should have good backcountry skills and equipment. Heli-skiing: Only one place in the region, and only for a limited time each spring; from Kagura to Kirinoto Peak. Aprés ski: With 22 restaurants in the hotel at its base alone, Naeba wins the party award — you never have to leave the building, but it’s worth getting out and having a look around town.

OFF THE SLOPES Not everyone skis, but there is plenty of fun to be had off the slopes as well. Snowshoeing has become increasingly popular in Japan, and Snow Country is a great place to do it. The thick, almost impassible forests of summer fill in with snow; you can wander through the woods, enjoying the calls of the many native birds and seeing the footprints left by rabbits, foxes, weasels and tanuki or raccoon dogs. Many people also snowshoe the same high lines that backcountry skiers and boarders access at Kagura (Yuzawa), Tanigawa Tenjindaira (Minakami) and other locations  —  and there’s no view as magnificent as that you earn by walking high up in these mountains. Beginners beware;

37


Whatever the water, though, nothing feels as soothing and relaxing at the end of a day as soaking in an onsen — and there will always be an onsen somewhere near lodgings throughout Snow Country.

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you need experience, training and equipment to head into potentially dangerous terrain. For all levels, snowshoe and other gear rentals and guiding are available at several locations in the area, particularly Minakami and Yuzawa. Snowmobiling, whether riding behind the driver or being pulled on an inflatable banana boat, is another no-skills-needed option for some thrilling fun on the snow. Yuzawa Nakazato (Yuzawa) provides snowmobile rides, which will also be a feature of the Tsunan Snow Festival (Tsunan). Minakami Kogen Resort (Minakami) has adult and kids snowmobiles available for self-driving, complete with an instructor’s training and supervision. Minakami Kogen also has groomed courses and equipment available for crosscountry skiing; less formal equipment for hiking out into the woods is available in many of the areas, through local tourist offices to hotels and pensions.

IT’S IN THE WATER The snow that makes all the winter fun possible also creates an excellent supply of fresh water, and the region is perhaps most famous locally for the excellent rice it produces — and that means good saké. Add in the proximity of the Sea of Japan, and you have a fantastic selection of dishes featuring the very best of the seasons–fresh fish, shellfish (including the delicious , plump little oysters from Sado Island) and crabs, pickled and preserved vegetables, soba noodles and more. Snow Country has even created a selection of fine restaurants and inns known as Yukiguni A-Kyu Gurume (Class A Snow Country Gourmet destinations).

Many of the saké breweries of the region are open for tours and/or tastings — the rice equivalent of wine tours in California. Saké brewing not only requires the superior rice and water the snow provides, but also one of the most difficult and intriguing fermentation processes. It’s sometimes called “rice wine,” but is also the brewing is perhaps more like beer, with the added interest of double parallel fermentation. A mold is added to break down the starches in rice to sugars, while yeast is simultaneously breaking down the sugar into alcohol and CO2. Traditionally, saké was brewed in the winter months, to take advantage, not only of the cooler temperatures and therefore slower fermentation, but also of a rural workforce without much to do when the fields are buried under meters of snow. Whether you're interested in the process or just the consumption, a visit to a brewery is a delicious way to experience some of Japan’s best saké. Local breweries include Hakkaisan (Uonuma), one of the more widely distributed saké from the region (www.hakkaisan. com), Hakuro Brewery ( T o k a m a c h i ) , which has tours (http://hakuroshuzo. np.to) as does the Shirataki Brewery (Yuzawa), which holds tasting tours (http:// jozen.sakura.ne.jp/english/ index.html). Other interesting saké-related attractions include Yukikurakan (Yuzawa), a saké warehouse that takes advantage of the heavy snowfall. Snow is covered with a special sheet, then used to store and naturally chill saké throughout the year. Free guided tours and follow-up saké tasting are available (www.yukikura.com). And even if you’re having too much fun on your trip to do a proper saké tasting, you can always stop by Ponshukan (Yuzawa), located inside Echigo Yuzawa Station; while

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you wait for your train. You know what’s in store when you see the two salary man statues — one lying on his back on the floor, the other leaning against a display rack. Take ¥500 and purchase five medallions  —  then choose from the 95 automatic dispensers ready with samples of saké from all over Niigata Prefecture. Ponshukan also includes a restaurant area, souvenir shops and even an onsen (www.ponshukan.com). The ideal combination for snow (and saké, too?) is a hot spring. Luckily Snow Country is blessed with plenty of onsen (natural hot springs). Choose the kind of soak you want— clear or cloudy, great big multi-pool resorts or traditional, rock-lined outdoor baths. Japanese bathers are particular about the mineral make-up of their onsen; different springs are said to produce a range of healing properties. Yuzawa Onsen, more than 800 years old, is said to be good for “nerve pain, rheumatism, stomach disease, gout and chronic women’s diseases,” while Matsunoyama Onsen in Tokamachi, discovered about the same time, is good for hemorrhoids, gastrointestinal disease, cuts and burns. In fact, it’s listed as one of Japan’s top-three medicinal hot springs.

39


There are many, many small festivals going on throughout the winter across Snow Country, as people illuminate ski fields, pathways and roads with candles, build Kamakura (traditional Japanese igloos), shoot off fireworks or gather around festive fires.

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One of the most striking destinations is Hoshi Onsen (Minakami), considered by some as the most beautiful onsen in Japan. The large main building was built in the 1870s and there is a nice rotenburo (outside bath). It’s completely natural; the water flows directly up from the ground without being heated. Nearby Takaragawa Onsen offers a number of different baths  —  for men, women and mixed bathing  —  in a beautiful setting along the headwaters of the Tonegawa River. At Kaikake Onsen (Yuzawa), the water is supposed to be good for eye ailments, which might help you enjoy the particularly beautiful view of snow falling in the outdoor bath. Visitors in Yuzawa can also enjoy the free “Kan-nakkuri” foot bath on the main street. Whatever the water, though, nothing feels as soothing and relaxing at the end of a day as soaking in an onsen — and there will always be an onsen somewhere near lodgings throughout Snow Country.

FESTIVALS & EVENTS Snow Country festivals throughout the winter provide a wonderful introduction to Japanese culture, tradition, food and drink — and fun. Not unexpectedly, many of the festivals center around snow. Tokamachi’s Snow Festival is perhaps the biggest of these, with snow sculptures and stages to rival Sapporo’s Snow Festival, Japan’s biggest, as well as live performances and a kimono

fashion show that is a reminder of one of the region’s traditional industries. The snow theme extends to festivals that have little meaning besides having fun in the white stuff. Mukonage, “Son-inLaw Throwing,” qualifies. This admittedly eccentric festival features young men married during the past year thrown down from a temple into the snow drifts below. This is followed by Suminuri, where people get their faces painted with an ink made from sacred ashes mixed with snow. Both the Secchi Hanamizu Iwai and Urasa Bishamondo Naked Man Festival involve purification by being splashed by ice-cold water — for the sake of family happiness and given to newlywed men in the first, and before jostling for position with hundreds of other nearly-naked men inside a temple in the second. But there are many, many small festivals going on throughout the winter across Snow Country, as people illuminate ski fields, pathways and roads with candles, build Kamakura (traditional Japanese igloos), shoot off fireworks or gather around festive fires.

GETTING THERE Most overseas visitors come from the Tokyo area—and it couldn’t be easier. By train or car, this is one of the most convenient ski destinations from the nation’s capital 200 km. to the south. The Joetsu Shinkansen has multiple departures hourly from Tokyo Station.

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After stopping in Jomo Kogen (get off here to access Minakami resorts) you’ll pull into Echigo-Yuzawa Station about 75 minutes later. GALA-Yuzawa Resort operates its own bullet train. From Echigo Yuzawa, you can take one of the many shuttle buses to Yuzawa resorts or transfer to the Joetsu Line or Hokuhoku Line for other destinations in Snow Country. Take the Joetsu Line south to Iwappara Ski Resort or even all the way to Minakami. Northwards to Ishiuchi Ski Resort, Joetsu Kokusai Ski Resort and on to Muikamachi (Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Area) and onward. The privately-owned Hokuhoku Line links Muikamachi to Joetsu City on the Japan Sea coast, and serves Muikamachi, Tokamachi and Matsudai (Matsuyama Onsen) on the way. If you’re lucky enough to be traveling from the opposite direction, from the Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe), this line provides a beautiful, pastoral ride through a much softer winter landscape than the trip from Tokyo. The Yumezora train on this line was the first “theater train” in Japan, with images projected onto the ceiling when the train passes through tunnels. Tsunan and Sakae can be reached by another train transfer, this time at Tokamachi to the Iiyama Line, which extends to Nagano City. If you choose to travel to Yuzawa or Minakami by car, you’ll use the Kanetsu Expressway from Tokyo; however be prepared for Sunday evening traffic jams back into Tokyo. ✤

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SNOW COUNTRY TOURS SPECIAL! TASTE OF SNOW COUNTRY TOUR Book soon to avoid missing out on this amazing value. This is your chance to get a taste of the best Snow Country has to offer as the guest of the Niigata Prefectural Government. Just 70 minutes from Tokyo you can experience snow festivals, shrines, food fresh from the Sea of Japan, Izakaya gourmet and more. There is more to Snow Country than sliding around on snow! This is a limited offer so please sign up soon. Date: Jan. 21-22, 2012 (1 night) *Apply by Jan. 10, 2012 Location: Echigo Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture Price: ¥1,000 per person (*limited to 20 customers only!) Included: All tour fees, 1 night accommodation, Lunch x2, Dinner x1, travel insurance

ONE-DAY RETURN ‘SKIING IN SNOW COUNTRY’ TOUR For customers residing in Tokyo, nothing beats our day return ski trip package for ease and convenience. Enjoy day return packages to the Snow Country Region as Yuzawa is only 70 minutes from Tokyo by bullet train. The Yuzawa area has a great variety of ski resorts: backcountry powder heaven, family resorts, great terrain parks, perfectly groomed runs. Yuzawa Tour Price: ¥13,800 (¥7,700) Minakami has become synonymous with outdoor activities and doesn’t disappoint in winter. A great array of ski resorts as well as tours such as airboarding, snowshoeing and backcountry. Jomo Kogen puts it all on your doorstep. Minakami Tour Price: ¥12,800 (¥6,700)

Minami Uonuma is rich in history, gourmet and of course snow. Resorts off the beaten track that deserve to be discovered as well as the chance to see parts of rural Japan who have been dealing with deep snow for generations. Minami Uonuma Tour Price: ¥13,800 (¥8,700) Tours include delivery to your home or office address, round trip bullet train tickets, 1-day ski pass (you choose where) and insurance. You can choose from our recommended ski resorts in each area.

TERMS & CONDITIONS • Non-refundable / Children have to be accompanied by an adult • Need to order 5 working days before the date of your trip • Not including shuttle bus fee (if required, please inquire)

PRIVATE SKI/SNOWBOARD LESSONS Make the most of your time on the snow with a professional instructor. Whether you are a snow novice or an experienced snow lover, a bit of local knowledge and professional instruction can make the difference between a good time and a great time. Little things make a big difference in snow sports so a few focused pointers will enhance your whole experience. • Half-day ski lesson (up to 3 pax) : from ¥16,000 • Half-day ski lesson (up to 8 pax) : from ¥18,000 • Full-day ski lesson (up to 3 pax) : from ¥25,000 • Full-day ski lesson (up to 8 pax) : from ¥30,000

IGLOO MAKING Try your hand at making a shelter made entirely of snow. In an area of heavy snow, being able to make your own igloo is a vital skill that has been passed down through the ages. It is also a fun challenge. Learn the basic skills you need and then you are good to go. Use all your ingenuity to put these new techniques to the test as you construct your own igloo.

SAKÉ TASTING TOUR Snow Country is home to the best rice in Japan, and this, combined with crystal clear water produces some of the best saké in Japan. Check out the brewery, learn about the process and taste the finished product in its different incarnations. The more you learn, the better it tastes.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PRACTICE IN THE SNOW

ビジネスのグローバル化が著しい現在、 日本のビジネ スパーソンにも高い英会話力が求められるようになりまし た。 さらに昨今ではその時流に伴い、外国人クライアント や同じ会社に勤める外国人社員とオフサイトシーンでも 交流を深める機会が多くなってきています。 そこで、当地ではスキーやスノーシュー、 かまくら造りを 通してネイティブスピーカーと楽しみながら、 あなたに合 わせた実践的なプライベート英会話教室を行ないます。 1グループ(4∼5名) :18,000円∼

SNOWSHOE TOURS Explore a winter wonderland in the stunning Japanese mountains. Snowshoeing is the ideal way to enjoy the beauty and peace of the mountains. Head out into the natural forests where few venture in winter to discover a calming snowy mountainscape. Learn about the local flora and fauna as well as local legends from your experienced guide. You will leave with a feeling of tranquility and knowing you have truly escaped the hustle and bustle of modern life.

HOP STEP JAPAN Contact HOP STEP JAPAN for further details. Located at the Visitors Center outside the West Exit of Echigo-Yuzawa Station. Tel: (025) 784 4567 (From overseas +81-25-784-4567) Fax: (0257) 83-3333 Mail: enquiries@hopstepjapan.com Web: www.hopstepjapan.com

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NAEBA WINTER ACTIVITY GUIDE NAEBA CELEBRATES 50 YEARS

Feb. 18-19

This winter Naeba is celebrating its 50 year anniversary. Visit the ski resort’s Web site at www.princehotels.co.jp/ski/naeba/50th/ cmposter/ and enjoy a look back in time with some vintage commercials and posters over the past half century to see how far skiing in Japan has come. The clothes may change, the skis may get fatter but there’s still the same smile on people’s faces when they are out enjoying the white stuff in Naeba. This year Naeba will open an extended “Powder Zone” during opening hours so guests can enjoy some great powder when conditions are right. Check out what else is new this winter in Naeba.

Freestyle FIS World Cup in Naeba See the world’s best compete at Naeba Ski Resort. After party at Asagai Resthouse.

RACES & EVENTS

Get on the Dragondola before the usual start time in the morning and enjoy first tracks! For intermediate or advanced skiers or snowboarders only. Dates: Sundays, Jan. 1 and Jan. 8 – Mar. 25. Time: 8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Location: Prince 1st Gondola. Price: ¥1,000 per person

Jan. 21, 2012

Snow Splash in Naeba Location: Asagai Resthouse Sponsor: Outdoor Japan Media, Canyons Adventures, Week Ends Tokyo

Jan. 29-30 All Japan Snowmobile Championship Round 1 in Naeba Location: Naeba Power Sports Land Sponsor: Motorcycle Federation of Kanto, Niigata Sports Division

Feb. 25-26 Echigo-Yuzawa Snow Walk in Naeba Enjoy a snow shoe walk through the white forest in Naeba and Tashiro. Tour includes a Dragondola ticket. Sponsor: Executive Committee of Yuzawa Universal Walk Co-sponsor: All Nippon Nordic Walk Federation

ACTIVITIES

Dragondola First Tracks!

Snowmobiling at RSS Power Sport Land Naeba Enjoy mini-touring and lessons with the latest model snowmobiles. Price: 30 minutes: ¥7,000; 60 minutes: ¥10,000; 90 minutes ¥14,000. Snow rafting also available. Price: Adults: ¥1,600, Kids: ¥800. Schedule: Late December to late March. Contact Kappa Club at (0278)72-1372.

WEB CONNECTION Naeba Tourism & Hotel Association www.naeba.gr.jp/en/ Naeba Page on Outdoor Japan Online www.outdoorjapan.com/naeba Naeba Live Webcams www.princehotels.co.jp/ski/naeba/livecamera/

Naeba Fireworks on the Ski Slopes Enjoy the beautiful contrast of colorful fireworks across the white snow field. Schedule: Dec. 23, 24, 31; Jan. 14, 23, 28; Feb. 11, 18, 25; Mar. 10 & 24

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Hikarigahara Highlands 光ヶ原 高 原

By Neil Hartmann

Masanori Takeuchi is a legend in snowboarding. Hailing from the Joetsu area of Niigata, he was raised a skier and then discovered surfing when he was 16. Shortly thereafter, Masa discovered snowboarding. In a twist of fate, at age 18, he entered and won a giant slalom ski race near his home. The winning prize was a pair of skis and a Burton Backhill snowboard.

マサこと竹内正則はスノーボーディング界のレジェンドのひとりだ。 新潟県上越地方出身の彼は、幼い頃はスキーヤーであり、 16歳の時にはサーフィンも始める。それからしばらく後、 スノーボーディングに出会うのである。 運命のいたずらか、18歳で出場した地元のジャイアント・スラローム・ スキーレースで見事に優勝。優勝賞品として彼が手にしたのは、 スキーひと組とバートンのバックヒル・スノーボードだった。

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F

rom sliding down hills in his neighborhood to mastering those early hand-dug half-pipes, Masa became a master of snow surfing and went on to reign as all-Japan champion for many years. Later, following in the footsteps of his friend and mentor, the late great Craig Kelly, Masa made the transition to backcountry and free riding and has remained as a leader of the sport ever since. Masa’s first experience with snow cat boarding dates back to the mid- ’90s when he went on a filming trip with Craig to Canada’s now famous Island Lake Lodge. It was there Masa was able to experience the beauty of the mountains and the fun of riding natural untracked terrain in a private setting with only a few friends. “Heli boarding is the ultimate trip to the peak, but cat boarding is a better way to spend a great day with friends playing in the snow,” Masa says. At the turn of this century, Masa was living in the Shonan area when he decided to get back to his roots and take up residence below Seki Onsen, the famed powder ski area. From his house there, he had a view of Hikarigahara and the peak of Kurokura across the valley. He became interested in the mountain and poured over maps and even split-boarded to the top to take a look. “When I got to the top, I found a long ridge line with more than 400 meters of vertical. It was a perfect place for a cat tour operation, so I knew I had to make it happen,” he explains. In 2003, Masa took a big chance and borrowed an old cat from a small local resort. He then organized permission to run a cat-serviced tour operation in and around the Hikarigahara area. Facing west with a fantastic view of Mt. Myoko and the surrounding area, Hikarigahara is a summertime tourist stopping point. This high elevation plateau provides grazing land for dairy cows and photo opportunities for the tourists while slurping down ice cream and devouring fresh cheese. In summer, the road continues up and over the high ridgeline and into Nagano Prefecture. During winter, the road is closed, the soft ice cream machine is given a rest and the cows are taken to lower ground. From mid-January until the end of March, the entire highlands range becomes a playland for Masa and his guests. I joined Masa and his main guides Shunsuke Hoshino, Mitsugu Toyoda and Tomo Higashino for three consecutive days in early March as they hosted their eager guests to some perfect powder, group photos and good food. What can people expect on an average day at Hikarigahara? “Riders can expect to make six to eight runs a day with a break for a nice Italian-style sandwich lunch and hot coffee. The average vertical each day is about 1,600 meters,” Masa tells me over breakfast. Being a good snowboard bum, I started my morning at Masa’s house enjoying an early breakfast with his family and two children. His

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6-year-old son Haruki decided to join us on today’s tour and hurries to get all his gear on in time for departure. Half an hour later, we arrive at the loading zone/base station. Niigata's Myoko area is famous for record snowfalls, and this day is no exception. Forty centimeters of fresh snow needs to be cleared from the parking lot. Masa handles the giant snow blower like a veteran. Soon a micro-bus arrives with today’s customers, a smiling and laughing group of Hikarigahara locals. Masa has created a members club for heavy users, and today is their day—a discounted tour just for those in the club. Spirits are high as we climb into the cat for the 20-minute ride up. Over the last seven years, Masa and his guides have learned and studied every inch of the mountains within their area, and the masterful way in which they lead a tour is a pleasure to watch. With no hiking and a friendly guide pointing the way, it is easy to feel like a celebrity. The first run starts at the top of the aptly named “Morning Ridge.” It is a fun line with gentle rollers lit by the morning sunlight and long shadows from the majestic pine trees, and everyone hoots and hollers all the way to the bottom. As the group watches tail guide Shunsuke throw a tweak and casually make picture-perfect turns to the bottom, the cat arrives and the door swings open. From here on, the day is a blur; each time the cat door opens, a new line waits to be explored. From steep chutes with names such as “Pipeline” and “Backdoor,” to mellow cruisers such as “Buna Ridge,” each run has been carefully chosen for maximum fun. Riders and skiers are expected to be intermediate in level with experience on a variety of terrain, but there is something for everyone to enjoy. Masa knows how to judge his clients, and he makes sure to push you just a little bit, so you come away not only having a fun day, but also

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ートンのそのボードは、冬の間のサーフィン練習

路がつながっているが、冬には閉鎖されてしまい、アイ

にピッタリなものだった。固まった雪上を滑るた

スクリーム・マシンもしばし休憩。牛たちはもっと低い

めのエッジがなく、彼にとっての初のライディングはパウ

場所へと移される。だから1月半ばから3月いっぱいにか

ダー中心になっていった。家の近所でダウンヒルを繰り

けては、高原全体がマサとそのゲストたちの独り占めの

返し、手で掘り起こしただけの初期のハーフパイプを何

状態になるのだ。

度も攻めているうちに、気づけばスノーサーフィンの達

僕は3月の初めの3日間、マサと彼のメインガイドた

人になっていたマサは、その後何年間も全日本チャンピ

ちである豊田貢、星野俊輔、東野智子に合流し、一

オンの座に君臨し続けた。そしてさらにその後は、よき

緒に時間を過ごした。彼らはゲストをパーフェクトなパウ

友人で師でもあったクレイグ・ケリーの跡を継いで、バッ

ダーとグループ・フォト、美味しい食事へと案内してい

クカントリーとフリーライディングのフィールドへ活躍の場

るところだった。一体、この光ヶ原のアベレージな1日と

を移し、以来、スノーボーディング界のリーダーであり続

はどんな感じなのだろうか? 「ライダーは1日に6回から8回ほどのランを楽しめて、

けている。 マサがスノーキャット・ボーディングを初めて体験した

途中でイタリアンスタイルの美味しいサンドイッチのラン

90年代半ばだ。クレイグと一緒に、今では有名 のは、’

チと暖かいコーヒーのブレイクがある。1日の平均的な

になったカナダのアイランド・レイク・ロッジへ撮影トリッ

バーティカルは1,600メートルほど」と、朝食の時にマサ

プに出かけた時のことだった。そこでマサは、山々の美

が話してくれた。

しさと、仲間うちだけというプライベートなセッティングの

仲のいいスノーボード仲間のように、僕の朝は、マ

中、自然のままトラックがひとつもない場所でライディン

サの自宅で彼の家族やふたりの子どもたちと一緒に食

グすることの楽しさを初めて知ることになる。

す早めの朝食でスタートしていた。彼の6歳の息子、ハ

「ヘリ・ボーディングはピークでの究極のトリップ方法

ルキも今日のツアーに同行したいと言い出して、出発ま

だとは思うけど、雪の中で仲間と最高の一日を過ごす

でもうあまり時間がないなか、 あわてて準備に取りかかっ

には、キャット・ボーディングの方がずっといいね」とマ

た。そして30分後、僕らは乗降場所でもあるベース・ス

サは言う。

テーションに到着した。

新たな世紀がスタートした頃のマサは湘南に住んで

新潟の妙高周辺は積雪量の多さでも知られるが、こ

いたが、自分のルーツに立ち返るために、その後、パウ

の日も例外ではなかった。駐車場には40センチあまり

ダースキーで知られる関温泉のふもとに居を構えた。家

の新雪が積もっていて、まずはその除雪作業をしなくて

からは光ヶ原高原の眺め、それに谷を越えた先には黒

はならなかったが、マサが巨大な除雪車をベテランのよ

倉山麓のピークも見えた。その山に興味を惹かれた彼

うに操って作業は無事終了。しばらくすると、今日のカ

は、地図を調べ上げて実際に山頂まで登ってみた。  「山頂まで行くと、垂直に400メートル近くある長い

スタマーたちを乗せたマイクロバスが到着した。楽しそ うに笑顔を見せる光ヶ原のローカルたちが今日のゲスト

尾根線があったんだ。キャット・ツアーにはそれこそ絶

だ。マサはヘビーユーザーのためにメンバーズクラブ制

好の場所だった。だからやるしかないって思ったよ」

を設けていて、この日はそのクラブ会員限定のディスカ

2003年、大きなチャンスが訪れ、彼は地元の小さな リゾートから中古のキャットを借りることができた。さらに 光ヶ原周辺でキャット・ツアーを運営するための許可を

ウント・ツアーの日だったのだ。 キャットに乗り込み、20分かけてピークへ向かう途中、 熱気はどんどん高まっていった。

得ることにも成功する。西にはあの素晴らしい妙高山

マサとガイドたちは、これまでの7年間で、彼らが活動

を望むエリアである光ヶ原は、もともと夏にツーリストが

する山々についてありとあらゆることを体で感じ、学び続

多い場所だった。標高の高いこの高原には牧場がたく

けてきた。だから、彼らがツアーを率いる熟達したムダの

さんあり、写真を撮るポイントにも恵まれ、ツーリストは

ないその様子は、見ているだけでも気持ちいいほどだ。

アイスクリームやフレッシュなチーズを堪能しながら旅行

歩かなくてはならないエリアもなく、正確に指示を与えな

を楽しめる。夏の間は尾根線を越えて長野県に入る道

がらもフレンドリーなガイドぶりは、自分がセレブリティー になったような気分を与えてくれる。最初のランのスター ト場所は、その名の通り “モーニング・リッジ” という尾 根のトップからだった。ゆるやかなローラーが朝の光に 照らされて輝き、堂々とした松の木の影が長く伸びてい る、魅力あふれるラインだ。みんな喜んで歓声を上げな がらボトムまで一気に下りていく。それぞれがごく自然に 繰り出す絶好のターンを、テールガイドの俊輔がちゃん と写真に捉え、そのままボトムへ下りればキャットが待っ ていてくれ、次のランへのドアが開く。 そこから先も、すべてが夢のように進んでいった。 キャットのドアが開けられる度に、また違うラインが待ち 構えている。 “パイプライン” や “バックドア” と名付けられ た急な斜面から、 “ブナ・リッジ” と呼ばれるメローなクルー ザーまで、すべてのランが計算して配置されていて、最 大限の楽しさを演出してくれる。 多種多様な斜面を十分に楽しむためには、ライダー もスキーヤーも中級以上のレベルであることが望ましい が、誰にでも楽しめるような工夫もちゃんとある。マサは カスタマーたちのレベルを瞬時に判断し、その力をほん の少し上回る程度の楽しさを用意してくれるのだ。ただ 単に楽しい1日というだけでなく、自分が知らなかったこ とを学べる1日にもなる。キャット・ツアーを運営すること

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learning something. He tells me the best thing about owning and running a cat tour op is the chance to hang out with so many people who enjoy riding in a similar style. “Getting to lead people and help push their riding skills to new levels is gratifying—oh yeah, and I have the whole mountain to myself on weekdays,” he adds with a knowing smile. Off-days find Masa product testing for his board sponsor, Burton, or just building roads for the cat in preparation for the weekend tours. He certainly can’t complain about having to make solo, top-tobottom runs. “Hey, somebody has to do it.” I ask him what kind of customer is attracted to Hikarigahara. He says the average age is certainly higher than what you see at a ski resort. Some are people who have tired of riding at resorts. Others might have stopped skiing or snowboarding for a while and now want to get back into the sport, but everyone shares a common love of powder snow

and backcountry riding. The Hikarigahara tour schedule is mostly a weekend affair, but Masa is looking to expand into some weekday sessions with overseas visitors in mind. Hakuba is only an hour-and-a-half drive away, making it a viable option for someone who is spending a week skiing in the area, and the Myoko Valley is right there. The majority of Japanese customers are working during the week, so for now Masa has the area to himself; however that all could change very soon. It’s Day 3 of my stay at Hikarigahara, and we are wrapping up the afternoon session with one more run. Masa leads us along a narrow ridge line—with a breathtaking view—but everyone is concentrating on not falling off the single track, as both sides drop away steeply. Finally we reach the end of the ridge and the beginning of our final run. Masa explains the run; a wide open face with only a scattering of trees

leads down to the cat road, and in the distance we can see the cat making its way back to base. “OK, it is going to be a race to the bottom, and the first one back to the loading area is the winner,” Masa says, even giving us a head start. For the first time, we get to lead with Masa and the guides starting last, and with a “three, two…one” countdown, we are off. Everyone enjoys the last powder turns before hitting the cat road and “pointing it” like downhill racers. I use my heavy camera bag as an advantage, milking every turn for speed. It is a long, winding run down the cat track, and my thighs are starting to burn, but I am feeling victory at hand. I am in the lead and there it is—the base station—just around the corner. Swoosh! Masa blasts past me with just 200 meters to go. Did I really think I would have a chance against a national champion? ✤

Hikarigahara Cat Tours 光ヶ原キャット・ツアー

Bookings: info@graffix.jp Web: www.graffix.jp Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/ Hikarigahara-Cattours/490365740429

の醍醐味は、大勢の人たちが、それぞれ同じようにライ

しまったものの、再び戻ってきた人たちも多いのだそう

しのいいオープン・フェイスに木々が所々生えているだ

ディングを楽しんでいるのを近くで見守りながら実感する

だ。でもその全員に共通するのは、 パウダースノーとバッ

け。遠くには、ベースへ戻るキャットの姿が見える。

ことだ、とマサは言う。

クカントリー・ライディングが大好きだということである。

「オーケー、じゃあボトムまでのレースだ。ローディン

光ヶ原ツアーはおもに週末にスケジューリングされて

グ・エリアまで最初にたどり着いた人が勝者」とマサ

「ゲストたちを率いて、そのライディング・スキルを次 のレベルに上げる手伝いができるなんて、こんなに嬉し

こで初めて僕らはマサとガイドたちを先導する形になり、

平日のセッションも増やそうと考えている。白馬までは車

思う存分満喫、なんてことだってもちろんある」と、やん

で1時間半だから、このエリアで1週間スキーを楽しむ人 “3、2、1…ドロップ!“とカウントダウンがスタート。みん

ちゃそうに付け加える。 オフの日は、ボードスポンサーであるバートンのプロダ

にとってはオプションも多いし、妙高バレーもすぐ近く。

なが最後のパウダーランをエンジョイしながら、ダウンヒ

日本のカスタマーは平日仕事という人が多く、今のとこ

ルのレーサーのように指を突き上げながらキャット・ロー

クト・テストや、週末のツアーのためにキャットの道筋を

ろはマサもエリアを独り占めできているが、もしかしたら、 ドを目指した。僕は下げていた重いカメラバッグを上手

計画する。自分が中心となって運営のすべてを行うこと

それも近いうちに大きく変わるのかもしれない。

には、 「だって、どのみち誰かがやらなくちゃいけないん だからさ」と何の大変さも感じないという。

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いるが、海外からのビジターも見込んで、マサは現在、 が言い、われわれにはヘッドスタートを与えてくれた。こ

いことなはいよ。でもね、平日には僕ひとりで山全体を

く使って、ターンごとにスピードを上げていった。それは

僕の光ヶ原滞在も3日目になり、午後のセッションで

キャットトラックを下っていく長く曲がりくねったランで、だ

もう1本ランをこなしたら終了だ。マサは僕らを狭い尾根

んだん太ももが辛くなってくる。でも、同時に自分の勝

光ヶ原を訪れるカスタマーはどんなタイプの人たちが

線に沿った場所へ案内してくれた。そこは息をのむ素晴

利を確信していた。リードは確実だし、すぐそこにはベー

多いのかを聞いてみた。彼によれば、年齢的には、い

らしい眺めだったが、1本しかないトラックを慎重に進ま

ス・ステーションが見えている。その時、シューッ !と音 がして、マサが残り200メートル程度で僕を追い越して

わゆるスキーリゾートで見かける年齢層よりは高いとい

なくてはならなかった。両側は急な斜面。ようやく尾根

う。なかにはリゾートでのライディングにはもう飽き飽きし

の端に到着して、最後のランをスタートする。マサがそ

爆走していった。そうだった…ナショナルチャンピオン相

てしまって、いったんはスキーやスノーボードから離れて

のランを解説してくれた。キャット・ロードまでは、見晴ら

手に、勝てると信じた自分が甘かったのだ。✤

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Mammut Monitor & Trial Program

When the backcountry beckons — be ready! “A beacon is part of your winter wear — you just put it on before you go. You can climb a slope for a decade, poke it, test it and think it’s safe, then one day it drops on you. Nothing can guarantee 100% safety in the backcountry, but with a beacon ready to go, there’s a much better chance you’ll be rescued, or that you’ll be able to help a fellow rider.” —Bill Ross

I

f you head out beyond the boundaries of any ski area— even if you’re not hiking further up the mountain — two things you absolutely must have with you are an avalanche beacon and the knowledge to use it. The technologies packed in these units, not much larger than a cell phone, have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. The Mammut Pulse Barryvox is one of the most highly-regarded of the high-end units; it has three antennas for more accurate searching, digital and analogue operations (both have their advantages), multi-burial search, internal compass to take the searcher straight to a victim and other capabilities that make it a true pro tool. Its abilities don’t come cheap, though, and the Barryvox is both award-winning and one of the higher-priced beacons on the market. To respond to the growing demand of backcountry enthusiasts, this season Mammut has released the Mammut Element, a lower-cost unit with a similar shape and the same basic functions as the Barryvox,

わゆるスキーエリアからは外れた場所へ出て行く時には、 たと えそれが本格的な登山じゃなくても、絶対に欠かせないもの がふたつある。雪崩用のビーコンと、 その使い方を知っておくことだ。 携帯電話ほどの大きさのユニットに搭載されたテクノロジーは、年々 進化を続けている。 このマムート・パルス・バリボックスは、 ハイエンドの 各ユニットの中でもとくに高い評価を得ているもののひとつ。 より正確 なサーチを可能にする3本のアンテナ、状況に応じたデジタルとアナロ グの切り替え、 マルチ・ベリアル・サーチ機能、確実に目的の場所へと 導いてくれる内蔵コンパスその他数々の機能は、 まさにプロ仕様。高 機能搭載のモデルは決して安価とはいえないかもしれないが、 このバ リボックスは賞も受けている真の高級モデルだ。 バックカントリー・ファンからの熱い要望に応えて、 マムートは今シー ズン新たにマムート・エレメント・バリボックスをリリース。より手頃な価 格のユニットだが、 シェイプやベーシックな機能はパルス・バリボックス と同様で、 さらにシンプルで簡単な操作が特徴。 どちらのモデルも、万 が一雪崩が起きた際のサーチとレスキューに最大限の威力を発揮す

but with simplified, more intuitive operations. Both are excellent tools for search and rescue should an avalanche occur—but training and practice are paramount to keeping you safe while enjoying Japan’s amazing backcountry.

Join the Trial Program Have you been wanting to get out to the backcountry, but not quite ready to buy all the gear? This winter Mammut is offering Outdoor Japan readers the chance to use their new Element beacons for free at Dancing Snow Tours and Japow Tours. Sign up for a tour and receive a free beacon rental if you agree to fill out a very short survey at the end of day. You’ll help Mammut get valuable customer feedback while having a great time and gaining valuable backcountry knowledge. Our guides and will also be sharing their experiences, whether telemarking, snowboarding or exploring Japan’s mountains this winter.

る、非常に優れたツールだ。ただし、 日本のバックカントリーの素晴らし さを安心して楽しむためにも、 トレーニングや実地の練習をしておくこと は必須だ。

Join the Trial Program バックカントリーには出たいけど、 すべてのギアを揃えるのもちょっと 大変…そんな人たちのために、 この冬マムートは、 アウトドア・ジャパン の読者に、 Dancing Snow ToursとJapow Toursで新しいエレメ ント・バリボックスを試してもらうプログラムを行っている。 ツアーに申し 込めば、 その日の最後にごく簡単なアンケートに答えるだけで、無料で ビーコンのレンタルが可能だ。マムートがカスタマーからの貴重なフィ ードバックを得られるだけでなく、 カスタマーは最高の時間を楽しみなが ら、バックカントリーで必要な貴重な知識を得ることが出来るというわ けだ。われわれのガイドたちが、 テレマーキングでもスノーボーディング でも、適切なガイダンスを行ってくれるはず。 この冬はぜひ、 日本の山々 を存分に満喫してみて欲しい。

MEET THE PROGRAM MONITORS

Element Barryvox Beacon

Pulse Barryvox Beacon

Bill Ross (USA) Telemarker & Guide Myoko, Niigata www.dancingsnow.com

Paul Vanderheiden (USA) Snowboarder & Guide Hakkoda, Aomori boardersan.blogspot.com / www.apowtours.com

Chris White (England) Alpinist & Adventurer Japan, Asia & Europe

Bill has been guiding in Myoko for more than 15 years where he runs the Dancing Snow Guide Center. A native of Minnesota, he has been in Japan for nearly 30 years, but says his second life began when he first moved to Myoko 16 years ago. Bill is primarily a telemark skier, although in recent years he’s reportedly been spotted on fixedheel gear as well. Dancing Snow has daily tours to Myokoarea peaks, conducts snow-hiking tours on light telemark gear and snowshoes, “I love low-angle climbing on light skis with complete beginners,” he says. “The joy of them learning to glide is almost as good as a steep powder line”, and offers hut tours and autumn/spring regional tours.

Paul has been snowboarding most of his life and has a deep passion for winter. Today he runs Japow Tours, a small tour company in Aomori. However he first learned to ride in Flagstaff, Arizona at the Arizona Snow Bowl, a small ski hill with endless off-trail possibilities most people miss, but the first time he hiked to ride untouched powder lines he was hooked for life. He continued to learn about the dangers of the snowpack, studying backcountry and avalanche safety at the San Francisco Peaks, on the Colorado Plateau. He continued his pursuit of powder, moving to South Lake Tahoe, and then, after years working at Oakley and Burton Snowboards, he’s returned to his roots guiding intermediate and advanced snowboarders in Hakkoda. For Paul, “It’s all about riding untouched pow lines with a few close friends."

Chris is an avid alpinist, ice climber and explorer of the mountains of Japan, often climbing solo in the harshest months of the year. Originally from the UK, and having been brought up within sight of the Peak District National Park, he now divides his time between Japan, Europe and Singapore. It was luck alone that saved him after he was avalanched on the Dai-sekkei route of Mt. Shiro-Uma in Nagano several years ago; he now climbs habitually with an avalanche beacon, and believes that a beacon (and a solid knowledge of how to use it) is essential for anyone who ventures into the mountains in winter.

Visit www.outdoorjapan.com/mammut-monitor-program for updates and to find out how you can join the Mammut Monitor & Trial Program this winter. **最新の情報や今年のマムート・モニター&トライアル・プログラムについての詳細は以下のウェブサイトで:

www.outdoorjapan.com/mammut-monitor-program WINTER

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www.facebook.com/japantraveler

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Living Room

Lounge

LIVING STYLE

SHIKI niseko

Celebrating the four seasons of Niseko in style By Anne Lourdes

N

iseko is now widely regarded as one of the finest international ski destinations in the world. Sometimes dubbed the “Aspen of Asia,” it is fast becoming a center for wealth and investors. One of the latest developments in this resort village on Japan’s northernmost island is SHIKI niseko. These highly anticipated luxury ski resort apartments are set amidst the beautiful Niseko backdrop, making it the perfect place for family and friends to enjoy each stunning season in Niseko. Designed by renowned Australian firm, DBI Design Pty Ltd., SHIKI niseko’s 68 luxury apartments will stand out as an iconic landmark of Hirafu’s upper village, just 200 meters from the ski slopes. Each unit comes with a breathtaking view of either the Hirafu ski field or the picturesque Mt. Yotei. “These apartments will appeal to buyers from around the world,” says Low Su Ming, Joint Managing Director of AP Land Berhad in Malaysia. “They are design masterpieces in an area famous for its climate and great views, and SHIKI niseko offers a sensational investment for one of the fastest growing international ski resorts.” Niseko is famous for its powder snow – skiers in the

know come for the light, fluffy snow that falls in huge amounts all season. A farming community at heart, Niseko had kept this secret well hidden long before making the transition to an international snow destination. “Now, with the influx of tourists and investors from around the world, particularly Asia and Europe, Niseko endeavors to retain its tradition while progressive changes happen in the infrastructure and real estate landscape,” says Low. Shiki in Japanese means four seasons. Thus, SHIKI niseko is not only a ski getaway, but also a developing four-season destination offering exciting activities throughout the year. Niseko’s future is bright; it is well on the way to being the top year-round destination in Asia with a wide range of attractions from skiing to outdoor activities, such as golf, trekking, mountain biking and white water rafting. “SHIKI niseko is not a typical development. Our concept caters to Asian visitors  –  discerning affluent lifestyle seekers who not only enjoy holidaying in Niseko for its bottomless powder snow, but also the natural wonder of its four distinct, vividly beautiful seasons,” Low adds. This seven-story building, on 0.85 acres of freehold land facing the main road of Hirafu, is AP Land's first residential development in Niseko. "We are confident about the market, while noticing a growing trend among affluent property investors purchasing holiday homes in the region," Low added. The construction of the luxury apartment began early last April and is scheduled to be completed by the end of December in 2012. It is currently the largest development in Niseko. The entire ground floor is reserved for retail and F&B and will include comprehensive facilities across the board; some exclusively available for residents. These limited luxury apartment units are priced from 59 million yen with unit sizes ranging from 630 sq. ft. to

1,700 sq. ft. SHIKI niseko comes with one, two or three bedrooms as well as two-bedroom penthouses. The threebedroom units are divided into a bedroom section and a studio apartment with its own entrance, so owners can rent it out while enjoying their holidays. “SHIKI niseko is a freehold property open to foreign buyers through the asset management firm Fairlane Hospitality which was appointed to manage and handle the transaction experience while maximizing returns on the owner’s investment. Fairlane Hospitality, a five-star hospitality management company from Malaysia, offers holistic one-stop management services specializing in pool management, property management and real estate services. In a nutshell, SHIKI niseko investors from around the globe can enjoy a hassle-free investment experience. Their assets will be managed and the status updated online, so they can see how property is faring without having to leave home. Apart from all the outdoor activities and the excitement winter brings, Hokkaido is also well known in the region for its treasured agriculture and livestock products. The region cultivates potatoes, corn, asparagus and other fresh produce. “We have tied up with the fabulous chef Yuichi Kamimura who will open the doors to his restaurant at SHIKI niseko next year, bringing along his signature fusion Japanese cuisine, using fresh local products, for residents and holiday makers alike,” says Low. This celebrated chef, a disciple of noted chef Tetsuya Wakuda, will use his natural creativity and years of experience to create a truly memorable dining experience at the much anticipated KAMIMURA Restaurant.

SHIKI niseko For sales inquiries contact APL Niseko Property TMK / Tel: +60-120-6988-606 or (In Japan) 090-2057-7196 Web: www.shikiniseko.com

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2012

ICON LEGEND Park

Park

Halfpipe

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Night Skiing

Ski School

Ropeway

Gondola

Quad Lift

Gear Rental

Kids Facilities

Triple Lift

Double Lift

Single Lift

Snow Carpet Resort opening and closing times and lift schedules may vary from day to day and season opening and closing dates may change depending on conditions. Please check with the resort directly before you go.

WINTER

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HOKKAIDO

T

he general rule with skiing is, the farther north you go, the better the snow. Well, you can’t go any farther north in Japan than Hokkaido, and the area

rightfully creates the biggest buzz for people in search of deep powder. The reason for this is simple; Hokkaido consistently gets the best snow conditions, and Niseko in particular is recognized as a world-class ski resort, rivaling the long-established ski areas in Europe and North America. However, anyone thinking Hokkaido is a one-trick pony will be pleasantly surprised to find there are some great ski areas all over Japan’s north island. Kamui Ski Links Furano Kiroro Snow World

Sahoro

Niseko Grand Hirafu Niseko Village Niseko Annupuri Rusutsu Tomamu

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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53


NISEKO NISEKO GRAND HIRAFU, NISEKO ANNUPURI, NISEKO VILLAGE RESORT

Niseko Grand Hirafu

N

Hanazono Area

Park

N

Park

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Niseko Annupuri

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 1,156m Base Elevation: 756m Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

Niseko Village Advanced

Longest Course: 5,600m Top Elevation: 1,170m Base Elevation: 280m

Longest Course: 5,000m Top Elevation: 1,175m Base Elevation: 280m

Niseko gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so. It is the most international ski resort in Japan and consistently gets some of the heaviest snowfall in Japan. The mountain, Mt. Annupuri (which, in Ainu, means White Mountain), is home to three ski resorts: Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village (formerly Niseko Higashiyama) and Niseko Annupuri. Collectively they form Niseko United and share a common lift pass. The Hanazono area of Niseko Grande Hirafu is independently managed, and one of the more progressive areas on the mountain, featuring three terrain parks and the only FIS Half Pipe in Japan, which is well maintained throughout the season, and a bag jump, where you can safely practice your freestyle tricks. Niseko Village (which is actually about

a 10-minute drive from the main Hirafu Village area) also has nice facilities, a lot of activities and the Hilton Niseko hotel. Niseko Annupuri keeps the lowest profile of the three, but has some nice areas that can be less crowded. While a few other resorts may try dispute Niseko’s claim to the best powder in Japan, there is no doubt Niseko has the best, and widest, selection of restaurants and accommodation in Japan. The infrastructure is well organized, with efficient bus service to/from Sapporo and New Chitose Airport and a shuttle bus that takes visitors to the various resorts. And on one of those rare mid-season clear days, the view of Mt. Yotei from the slopes is the quintessential image of skiing in Japan.

For more Hokkaido information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com)

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Kutchan-cho, Hokkaido Niseko United: www.niseko.ne.jp

Niseko Grand Hirafu 40% 1

37% 5

23% 1

30

courses

8

Niseko Annupuri 30% 1

40% 1

30% 4

Niseko Village Resort 36% 1

32% 4

32% 2

1

13

courses

27

courses

NISEKO ANNUPURI (0136) 58-2080 www.cks.chuo-bus.co.jp/annupuri Nov. 23 - May 5 8:30 - 16:30 (16:30 - 21:00) 1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,800

Park

By Train: 120 minutes from Sapporo Stn. to Niseko Stn. ACCESS By Car: 120 minutes from Sapporo City and New Chitose Airport.

NISEKO GRAND HIRAFU (0136) 22-0109 www.grand-hirafu.jp Nov. 21 - May 5 8:30 - 21:00 (16:30 - 21:00) 1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,600

Park

By Train: 120 minutes from Sapporo Stn. to ACCESS Niseko Stn. By Car: 120 minutes from Sapporo City and New Chitose Airport.

NISEKO VILLAGE (0136) 44-2211 Dec. 1 - May 5

www.niseko-village.com 8:30 - 16:30 (16:30 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,500 TICKET Kids ¥2,800

Park

By Train: 120 minutes from Sapporo Stn. to ACCESS Niseko Stn. By Car: 120 minutes from Sapporo City and New Chitose Airport.

www.htholidays.com

Niseko’s Finest More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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55


Lupicia

St. Moritz Village

Dog Paddle

Kabayama Log House

Gentemstick Showroom

Hotaru

Famille inn Ramina Chitose

Gentem Cafe Country Resort

Hirafu

2

to South Village

Suiboku A-Bu-Cha 2

Base Camp Backcountry Shop PROSKI Australia House NisekoAccomodation.com Wabi Sabi Niseko Massage Niseko Physio Powderlife

Alpen Ridge NBS Ski School NBS Rental NBS Retail Niseko Property

J-Sekka Deli & Cafe Maki Lounge Niseko Pizza Hermosa Angel Massage J-Sekka Suites Niseko Cellars

Niseko Pottery Club Jam Garden

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The Vale Niseko

Nature

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Manpuku tei Snow Fox

Saika / Yeti Bar

Ebisu tei

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Yukisawa House

Cocoa

Asobi Dokoro

Zekkei Hidamari

Glass House

Escarpment Estate

Avalon

Boyo Ave.

Arrow Wood

Yasuragi Happy Vibration Tanoshii Tokoro Yamabiko

Haruka

Yukiuchi

Hana &

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West Canada Hom West Canada Propert En Cateri

Edelweiss Uncle

Tsubaki

Tomotsune

Miyabi Niseko Lodge

Koala Cottage

Forest Star Lodge

Leon’s Heart

Midori

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Hirafu EastVil

Sugi House

Kobushi-kan Icho House

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66

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Niseko Kogen Church Hokuei Junction Bongo Hiroba

2

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Hooting Owl Lodge Niseko Yu you Park Black Diamond Tours Saison Club M’s Cafe

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Niseko Grand Hotel Hotel Ashiri Niseko

B

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Star Hill

Cottage Milky First

Niseko Fine

Reposer Inaka yado Kiitos Liberty House

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Banfu Brook

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Jazz Club Cotton Farm Auberge de Frying Paan

Niseko An'nupuri Youth Hostel

Tabi Monogatari Yugokoro tei

Konbu Onsen Entrance

Annupuri Ski Ground

Niseko Ikoi-no-Mura

Sekka Lodge Country Inn Milky House Annupuri Oasis Lodge

Konbu Onsen Park

56

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Yunosato, Rankoshi Town

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Ogino

Sakamoto Park Kanro-sui

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Niseko Northern Resort, An’nupuri

Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort

Casa La Mount

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Nook Annupuri Niseko Annupuri Ski & Snowboard School

Karamatsu Sanso Jodel Rest House

Niseko Powder Guide Moiwa Lodge Niseko

Spa Goshiki, Iwanai Senshukan

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Hirafu House#7 Yotei Cottage Green House

MINA MINA Moun Nisek Inski Shiki Niseko

New White Bear Ski Japan Travel

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Shinju Yama Hangloose

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Snow Crystal

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Schiheil Omoshiro Box

Asuka Holiday Niseko

LARRY ADLER Rent-a-Ski

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Create Log Kanon Mountain JAM Youtei Tracks Happy Bell

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Niseko Grand Hirafu

Piz Gloria Ponpidoll

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Kabayama Asupara Batake North Aspara Tour

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Anne's House

343

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Cottage Kabayama Kabayama Primary School Powder

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Hirafu Welcome Center

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Nihon Harmony Resorts

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Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Hirafu Gondola Station

Tokyu Lodge

Haku'un-so

Old Man Creek A・B

Tsuru 1・2

Byakkko

2012

Kizuna JAM Cafe Bar

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Niseko Landmark View

Niseko Consulting The Lodge

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Locomotion Green House 

Taj Mahal Niseko Management Service (NMS) Niseko Powder Connection (NPC)

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Izumikyo 3 Creek Side A・B Yellow House Ezorisu

Hirafu Lodge

Kumajiro Jurin

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Jindabyne

22 P P

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Mangetsu

Ruby Chalet

Tirol 2

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Musashi

Mount Merry

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Tabi-no Kosaten

Ezo Views

Tamashii Bar Yosaku

Yawaraya Barunba Hokkaido Travel Momiji Art Gallery Niseko Cultural School

NOASC NOASC Rental Niseko Realty Sales Outdoor Travel Japan

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WINTER

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RUSUTSU RESORT

Rusutsu, Hokkaido

(0136) 46-3331 http://en.rusutsu.co.jp Nov. 21 - Apr. 4 9:00 - 21:00 (16:00 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥5,100 TICKET Kids ¥2,550

Park

Rusutsu is more than a good day trip from Niseko. It’s an excellent all-round mountain with 37 courses over three mountains: Mt. Isola, East Mountain and West Mountain. Powder lovers will love the big valleys full of deep tree runs funneling down to the modern, efficient lifts and everyone enjoy the views of the back side of Mt. Yotei and the quieter alternative to bustling Niseko. The ski-in/ski-out Rusutsu Resort Hotel is the most convenient place to stay with hot springs, day care, fireworks during Christmas and New Year and a variety of great activities.

30% 4

4

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

40% 7

30% 4

Advanced

37

courses

Longest Top E Base E

30% 8

Park

Beginner Stn. ACCESS By Train: 140 minutes from Sapporo Stn. to KutchanLifts By Car: 90 minutes from New Chitose Airport

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

Longest Course: 3,500m Top Elevation: 994m Base Elevation: 400m

37

courses

TOMAMU ALPHA RESORT

Shimukappu, Hokkaido

(0167) 58-1111 www.snowtomamu.jp Dec. 1 - Apr. 17 9:00 - 19:00 (16:00 - 19:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥3,600

Park

Tomamu has excellent facilities and a beautiful location. Many courses are suited for beginners, yet a challenging double black diamond course and heli-skiing and cat-ski tours will challenge advanced riders. You can even rent your own course for the day. Tomamu is a destination in itself with a plethora of ways to entertain the whole family. There’s a good selection of restaurants, an indoor wave pool, kids park, ice village, dog sledding, nighttime air-balloon rides, and a variety of spa and relaxation options.

Beginner Stn. Intermediate ACCESS By Train: 58 minutes from New Chitose Airport to Tomamu Lifts Gondola By Car: 120 minutes from New Chitose Airport.

25% 1 2 Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

45% 2

25% 1 2

Advanced

Advanced

30% 5

Longest Course: 4,500m Top Elevation: 1,210m courses Base Elevation: 699m

Furano, Hokkaido 1 DAY Adults ¥4,200 TICKET Kids ¥3,200

Park

Furano, in central Hokkaido, is known for blue skies yet manages nearly nine meters of snow each year. There are two sides to the mountain, serviced by a 101-person cable car (Japan’s fastest). The nearby Tokachi Range is a popular backcountry playground. The ski-in/ski-out New Furano Prince Hotel has a new hot springs facility. Join the Host Program and get a tour from a local or a bus tour from January to March to Lake Shikarebetsu’s ice village and bathe in ice bathhouses or enjoy a drink at the ice bar built on the frozen lake. Park

ACCESS Bus or car access is recommended: 60 minutes from Asahikawa Airport to Furano Stn.

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

KAMUI SKI LINKS

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

40% 1 1

40% 1 5

23

courses

Advanced

1 DAY Adults ¥3,000 TICKET Kids ¥1,500

Kamui Ski Links is a resort run “by skiers, for skiers.” Those who enjoy powder and tree skiing will understand why this little resort 20 kilometers outside of Asahikawa has so many admirers. Management has no restrictions on tree skiing and have even left several courses in which to play ungroomed. On top of that, the snow quality is excellent. You may find yourself in some short lines for the lifts on weekends, but on weekdays it is nothing but fresh lines down the hill. Be sure to warm up by the fireplace at Café 751 at the top of the gondola.

15 23

courses

4

Longest Top Ele Base E

20% 2

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 1,209m Base Elevation: 245m

Park

20% 1

4

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

20% 1

40% 7

Advanced

40%

Park

10 Beginner from Intermediate downtownAdvanced courses ACCESS Bus or car access is recommended: About 25 minutes Lifts Gondola Asahikawa on Route 12.

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 750m Base Elevation: 600m

For more Hokkaido information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com) 2 0 1 2

40% 25% 1 52

Asahikawa, Hokkaido

(0166) 72-2311 www.kamui-skilinks.com Dec. 5 - Mar. 28 9:00 - 17:00

WINTER

Longest Top Ele Base E

15

FURANO RESORT (0167) 22-1111 www.princehotels.co.jp/ski/furano_e Nov. 20 - May 5 8:30 - 20:30 (17:00 - 20:30)

58

15

courses

4

10

courses

Longest Top E Base E


SAHORO SKI RESORT

Shintoku, Hokkaido

(0156) 64-4121 www.sahoro.co.jp Nov. 27 - Apr. 3 9:00 - 18:00 (15:00 - 18:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,830 TICKET Kids ¥3,780

Park

Sahoro is a well-run resort that caters to families. There are 17 nicely-groomed courses, some “semi-backcountry,” a cross-country course and a terrain park. Like Tomamu, it’s a place where you can have fun whether you are a skier or not and it's not for the budget traveler. Two all-inclusive hotels service Sahoro Resort: The Sahoro Resort Hotel, an attractive luxury hotel, and the Club Med Sahoro. Club Med is arguably the most “foreigner-friendly” resort hotel in Japan. English ski lessons are available and lots of organized fun for the whole family.

Beginner Stn. Intermediate ACCESS By Train: 94 minutes from New Chitose Airport to Shintoku Gondola By car: 200 min. from Sapporo to Shimukappu IC Lifts

Advanced

30% 1 3 Beginner Lifts

40% 2 1

30% 1 3

Advanced

17

courses

best-kept secret

FINE, DRY AND AMAZING POW! JAPANESE: www.kamui-skilinks.com ENGLISH: www.ashikawa-tourism.com

there’s Something for everyone at

furano

Akaigawa, Hokkaido 1 DAY Adults ¥5,000 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

30% 1

Longest Course: 3,000m Top Elevation: 1,030m Northern Hokkaido's Base Elevation: 420m

30% 1

Longest Course: 3,000m Top Elevation: 1,030m Base Elevation: 420m

17

courses

KIRORO SNOW  WORLD (0135) 34-7111 www.kiroro.co.jp/english/ Nov. 20 - May 8 9:00 - 20:00 (16:30-19:30)

Intermediate Gondola

40% 2 1

Park

Kiroro is a relatively new (opened in 1992) ski resort just 30 kilometers west of Sapporo. The resort has great facilities, some amazing views of the Japan Sea and the natural surroundings and gets a lot of snow from mid-December until early May. If Kiroro had one major drawback, it would be a lack of challenging terrain. However, there are a few powder pockets and plenty of gentle slopes for beginners and children. New " Powder Zone" open middle of January to middle of March. Kiroro also has one of the best base lodges in Japan, complete with a hot spring to soak away the day’s bumps and bruises and an adjacent hotel with good restaurants.

33% 1

29% 4

38% 4

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

29% 4

33% 1

Advanced

21

courses

Longest Course: 4,050m Top Elevation: 1,180m Base Elevation: 570m

38% 4

Park

Longest Course: 4,050m Top Elevation: 1,180m Base Elevation: 570m

21 Beginner Intermediate Advanced by car from Otaru courses ACCESS Bus or car access is recommended: About 30 minutes Lifts Gondola or 80 minutes by car from downtown Sapporo.

SAPPORO KOKUSAI

Sapporo, Hokkaido

(0115) 98-4511 www.sapporo-kokusai.jp Nov. 19 - May 6 9:00 - 18:00

1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥1,000

Park

If you ski or snowboard, Sapporo is hard to beat. Residents can get a few quick runs just 15 minutes from downtown at Sapporo Bankei. However, many families make the one-hour drive out to “Kokusai,” which offers more choices for beginners and intermediate skiers and has a nice park. Although this is a day-trip resort, it does attract a spattering of international guests who find it hard to stay in the city when snow is falling. Most will be pleasantly surprised as this coastal resort gets its fair share of powder days and offers some varied, albeit fairly short, runs and a small, but decent park. Night skiing is not available.

10% 30% Furano60% Tourism Association Furano-shi, Hokkaido 1 22-57772 2 Tel: (0167) Park

Beginner Lifts

ACCESS

Advanced

Advanced

7

courses

Longest Course: 3,600m Top Elevation: 1,100m Base Elevation: 670m

10% 2

Longest Course: 3,600m Top Elevation: 1,100m Base Elevation: 670m

7

courses

SAPPORO TEINE

Sapporo, Hokkaido

(0116) 82-6000 www.sapporo-teine.com Nov. 19 - May 6 9:00 - 21:00 (16:00-21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,300

Park

If someone mentions the Winter Olympics in Japan, you’ll undoubtedly think of the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Yet 26 years earlier, Sapporo hosted its own Winter Games at a resort just 30 minutes from downtown Sapporo. Yet, what might be most surprising is this resort, Sapporo Teine, offers some steep and deep powder fun for intermediate and advanced riders. The off piste terrain is up in the Teine Highland area, accessible without having to duck ropes or elude the patrol. The Teine Olympia is a kinder, gentler area, which has a lively park scene. Night skiing available until 9 p.m. ACCESS

60% 1

30% 2

Park

Beginner Intermediate By car: One hour from Sapporo city center depending Lifts on traffic. Gondola

Intermediate Gondola

Visit us online at www.furanotourism.com www.skifurano.com

Beginner Intermediate By Car: 30 minutes from Sapporo city center depending Lifts on traffic. Gondola

Advanced

40% 1

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

40% 1

30% 1

Advanced

15

courses

30% 1

30%

Longest Course: 6,000m Top Elevation: 1,023m Base Elevation: 680m

30%

Longest Course: 6,000m Top Elevation: 1,023m courses Base Elevation: 680m

15

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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For more Hokkaido information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com)

60

WINTER

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TOHOKU

T

he Tohoku Region represents about 35 percent of the area of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Running north-south through the center of Tohoku are the Ou Mountains,

ranging between 1,500-2,000 meters. When the famous poet, Matsuo Basho, wrote The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Oku no Hosomichi) these were the mountains toward which he walked. Today they are full of some of Japan’s least crowded ski resorts. Tohoku may seem far away, but it’s only two-to-four hours by bullet train or you can jump on a domestic flight. Regardless, it’s never too far to go to find good snow.

Hakkoda Ropeway

Tazawako

Hachimantai Resort

Appi Kogen

Miyagi Eboshi Alts Bandai Yamagata Zao

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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HAKKODA ROPEWAY

Hakkoda, Aomori

(017) 738-0343 www.hakkoda-ropeway.jp Early Dec. - Mid-May 9:00 - 16:00

The eight peaks of Hakkoda attract Japan's most devoted powder lovers. It is basically backcountry with a 100-person gondola that takes 10 minutes to the top with four trips every hour. Once you get off you can choose from "Direct" or "Forest" trails. You won't get many blue bird days here and visibility can be difficult during snow storms (which is often). So if you are a Hakkoda newbie and want to explore the terrain it's best to so grab a local gudie. Tour Route Area Hakkoda Sansou, across the parking lot from Tour Route Area the gondola, is the closest accommodation. Up the road, Sukayu Onsen is a mixed hot spring with a 300-year history and a 1,000-person bath.

A modern resort hotel with timeless designs.

Web: www.appi.co.jp English Service Centre: Tel: +81(195)73-6401 E-mail: appi_english@ihr.co.jp

Choose from a variety of comfortable rooms with all the amenities.

1 DAY Adults 5 Times (on Ropeway) ¥4,900 TICKET Kids ¥2,200

Beginner Intermediate ACCESS By Train: 40 minutes to Aomori Stn. from Aomori Airport. Gondola By Car: 5 minutes from Owani Hirosaki I.C., Tohoku Lifts Expressway.

Advanced

Park

Tour Route Area Tour Route Area

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

60% 2

20% 1

(0195) 73-6401 www.appi.co.jp/foreign_country/english/ Dec. 4 - May 5 8:30 - 20:00 (16:00 - 20:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥5,200 TICKET Kids ¥3,000

Park

Beginner Intermediate ACCESS By Train and Bus: 50 minutes from Morioka St. to APPI. By Car: 15 minutes from Matsuo-Hachimantai I.C. orLiftsAshiro Gondola I.C.

20%

Advanced

Park

Night Skiing: Dec. 24-Jan. 9 (everyday); Jan. 15 – Mar. 19 (Saturdays only)

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

40% 3

30% 2 2

21

courses

Park

Beginner Stn. (2Intermediate hours 26 ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Morioka Lifts Resort. Gondola minutes), then about 90 minutes by bus to Hachimantai

21

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E

30% 11

Longest Course: 5,500m Top Elevation: 1,328m Base Elevation: 500m

Advanced

Park

40% 1

PANORAMA

3 1

SHIMOKURA Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

30% 1

40% 1

14

courses

Advanced

14

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E

20% 5

Longest Course: 2,700m Top Elevation: 1,130m Base Elevation: 540m

TAZAWAKO SKI RESORT

Tazawako, Akita 1 DAY Adults ¥3,800 TICKET Kids ¥1,000

When it snows in Tazawako, and it usually does, there is deep powder and a good variety of courses to enjoy. When it is not snowing, you are treated to one of the great views of any ski resort in Japan, with Lake Tazawa below providing a stunning backdrop. For this reason, Tazawako is a popular ski resort for people in Tohoku, but the lines are still relatively short when compared to resorts in other areas of Japan. The lifts run directly from the Tazawako Onsen hotel area. The selection of runs should keep everyone happy; on one side is a beginner and intermediate area and on the other is a more challenging advanced course.

Park

30% 2 Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

30% 2

Park

13 Beginner Advanced Stn. Intermediate (3 hours), then courses ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Tazawako Lifts Gondola 30 minutes by bus to the ski resort.

30% 4

Advanced

40%

Longest Course: 3,000m Top Elevation: 1,186m Base Elevation: 578m

For more Tohoku information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com) 2 0 1 2

Advanced

4 3

Hachimantai, Iwate 1 DAY Adults ¥3,700 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

It’s easy to get confused because there are two Iwate Hachimantai resorts and another in Akita. The smaller Hachimantai in Iwate is a three-lift powder resort known for free riding. Iwate’s Hachimantai Resort, on the other hand, is larger and is a great family ski destination. Hachimantai Resort covers two main areas, Panorama ski area and the Shomokura ski area. Both are well sheltered from the weather, and PANORAMA Panorama features a huge night skiing area. There are high speed lifts servicing mostly beginner or intermediate courses that are wide open, so plenty of breathing room for beginners or kids wanting to SHIMOKURA bomb down the hill.

(0187) 46-2011 www.tazawako-ski.com Dec. 17 - Apr. 24 8:30 - 20:00 (16:30 - 20:00)

30% 2 2

Park

HACHIMANTAI RESORT (0195) 78-4111 www.hachimantai.co.jp Dec. 18 - Apr. 5 8:30 - 21:00 (16:00 - 21:00)

WINTER

Longest Top Ele courses Base E

10

Hachimantai, Iwate

Appi is a giant resort (41K of trails) with a long season (thanks to the many north-facing slopes) plus some great facilities (thanks to bubble era spending). Unlike many resorts in Japan, that have relatively short runs, the average course length at Appi is 2,100m, the longest 5,500m. It’s possible to do Appi as a long day-trip from Tokyo but with two ski-in/ski-out hotels and an annex hotel, which collectively sleep 4,100 guests, why not stay and soak away sore muscles at one of the two natural hot springs after a day on the mountain. Families will appreciate the Kids Park.

62

6 2

Longest Course: 5,000m Top Elevation: 1,324m Base Elevation: 670m

10

courses

APPI KOGEN

Advanced

20% 1

13

courses

3 4

Longest Top Ele Base E


MIYAGI ZAO EBOSHI SKI RESORT

Zao-machi, Miyagi

(0224) 34-4001 www.eboshi.co.jp Dec. 1 - Apr. 3 9:00 - 22:00 (17:30 - 22:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,300 TICKET Kids ¥2,700

Park

Miyagi's Zao Eboshi Ski Resort is on the other side of the mountain from the more famous Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort. It's much quieter, and the lift lines are shorter on this side of the track and the views are fantastic. Although it's a decent sized resort with well laid-out courses and a variety of ways to descend the mountain, it is more geared for beginners or advanced riders, as there is not a lot of challenging terrain. Powder hounds will be salivating on some of the areas outside the lines.

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

30% 1

50% 1 1

Park

YAMAGATA ZAO SKI RESORT

Advanced

10

courses

30% 1

20% 6

Longest Course: 4,300m Top Elevation: 1,350m Base Elevation: 650m

20% 6

Longest Course: 4,300m Top Elevation: 1,350m Base Elevation: 650m

10 Beginner Station Intermediate(1 hour, Advanced courses ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shoroishi-Zao Gondola 54 minutes) then about an hour to the ski resort. Lifts (023) 694-9328 Dec. 5 - May

50% 1 1

Yamagata-shi, Yamagata

www.zao-spa.or.jp/english/index.html 8:30 - 21:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Ski resorts each have their own personalities; it is one of the joys of exploring new resort areas. Zao Onsen has a big bubbling personality. The town is literally bubbling with hot springs, and the ski resort offers a unique ski experience - skiing among the famous Zao Snow Monsters (juhyo). The resort is big with four gondolas, 35 lifts and a 10K downhill course. Skiers will enjoy the layout more than snowboarders (too much traversing), but the highlight, undoubtedly, is riding among these huge creatures formed of ice and wind. The peak season is February and the juhyo illumination is spectacular.

Park

Park

Beginner Lifts

Advanced

Intermediate Gondola

40% 1 27

40% 3 3

Park

Beginner Intermediate to Yamagata ACCESS By Train and Bus: 21/2 hours by bullet train from Tokyo Lifts Gondola Station, then 40 minutes by bus to Zao Onsen.

40% 3 3 Advanced

26

courses

40% 1 27

20% 5 2

Longest Course: 8,000m Top Elevation: 1,660m Base Elevation: 780m

20% 5 2

Longest Course: 8,000m Top Elevation: 1,660m courses Base Elevation: 780m

26

ALTS BANDAI

Bandai, Fukushima

(0242) 74-5000 www.alts.co.jp Dec. 18 - Early Apr. 8:30 - 21:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,700 TICKET Kids ¥3,700

Park

With 30K of rideable terrain, 29 courses and five free-style parks, it’s no surprise ALTS is a favorite of many of the top park riders in Japan and formerly home to the Asia Open. ALTS is one of the most progressive resorts around. They have a cheap backpacker hotel, shuttle buses from Narita and 24-hour English-speaking staff on duty. After crankin’ big air in the pipe, slide into the Riders’ Café for a drink or demo some new gear. After beating yourself up in the park or pike, relax in the hotel's great hot springs. ALTS has some nice terrain for free riding as well, but powder lovers will want to head next door to Nekoma. There are plans to link the resorts this season.

35% 1 1 Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

Advanced

29

courses

25% 7

Longest Course: 3,300m Top Elevation: 1,280m Base Elevation: 700m

25% 7

Longest Course: 3,300m Top Elevation: 1,280m Base Elevation: 700m

29

courses

GRAN DECO SNOW RESORT (0241) 32-2530 www.grandeco.com Nov. 27 - May. 5 8:30 - 16:45 (8:00 - 17:00)

40% 3

35% 1 1

Park

Beginner ACCESS By Train: 82 minutes from Tokyo Stn. to Koriyama Stn. Lifts By Car: 60 minutes from Fukushima International Airport.

Intermediate Gondola

40% 3

Inawashiro, Fukushima 1 DAY Adults ¥4,500 TICKET Kids ¥3,400

Gran Deco Snow Resort is a medium-sized resort with first-rate facilities, which include a gondola and express chairlifts and artificial snow making capabilities to guarantee early and late-seasonriding. There is also a luxury hotel and SIA certified Snow Academy. Although the resort is best suited for beginners and intermediate riders, there are tree runs for advanced riders and a wellmaintained park. Gran Deco is one of the highest resorts in the area, which means good quality snow. The nearby Hotel Gran Deco has western-style rooms, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool (open in winter!), Jacuzzis, saunas, hot spring baths, restaurants and bars. Beginner shuttleIntermediate bus. ACCESS By train: 30 minutes from Inawashiro Station via free Lifts Gondola By car: 90 minutes by car from JR Fukushima Station.

Advanced

Park

7 40% 1

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

40% 1

45% 4

Advanced

7

8

45% 4

15%

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 1,590m

courses Base Elevation: 1,010m

15%

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 1,590m courses Base Elevation: 1,010m

8

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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63


Enjoy ...

A warm luxury winter experience in Hakuba and Tokyo awaits you!

Chalets & Apartments Tokyo | Hakuba

Phoenix Wing Chalets and Apartments are nestled right at the base of Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort. Our spacious double storied chalets are minuets away from some of Japan’s best skiing conditions and the perfect location for an unforgettable winter holiday. Looking to stay in Tokyo? Why not stay at our serviced apartments in

Restaurant Wing

Nihonbashi, conveniently located near Ginza and Tokyo Station, great location for exploring one of the world’s great cities.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Short and long-stay accommodation. One of few 5-Star resorts in Hakuba. Double storied fully self-contained chalets. Hakuba’s only resort featuring in-room fireplaces! Walking distance to Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort.

Chalet Room and Fireplace

Open-air hot spring spa for private booking. Western and Japanese cuisine served at our popular restaurant. Restaurant and bar with views of the Hakuba Alps.

Phoenix Wing Chalets Hakuba

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22305 Kamishiro Hakubamura Kitaazumigun, Nagano, Japan 399-9211 Tel: +81(0)261-75-2988 Fax: +81(0)261-75-7028 Website: www.hpwing.jp Email: info@hpwing.jp WINTER 2 0 1 2


NAGANO N

agano is the traditional center of the Japan snow scene, and at the heart of it is the Japan Alps. The prefecture is home to some of the finest, steepest and biggest

resorts in Japan, and boasts arguably the most breathtaking scenery. Within Nagano, the sheer volume of ski areas is due to the jagged spine of rugged natural beauty known as the Japan Alps slashing through the prefecture. This area is as much a Mecca for photographers as it is for skiers, with its many onsen, snow-swept valleys and bristling peaks. Backcountry fun here is limited only to your preparedness and daring. Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, Nozawa and the Iiyama areas are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Togakushi

Nozawa Onsen Madarao

Hakuba Cortina

Okushiga Yakebitaiyama Shiga Kogen Area

Tsugaike Hakuba Iwatake Hakuba Happo

Hoppobundaira Higashitateyama Nishitateyama

Hakuba 47 Hakuba Goryu Norikura Kogen

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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HAKUBA GORYU

Hakuba, Nagano

(0261) 75-2101 www.hakubagoryu.com/e/index.html Late Nov. 1 - May 7 8:00 - 21:30 (18:00 - 21:30)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Hakuba Goryu is not the largest ski resort in Hakuba, but it could be the most pleasant. The scenery, with the Alps soaring behind you, and the Escal Plaza, one of the best base lodges in Japan, make it a great place to introduce people to skiing in Japan. There is a ski/snowboard rental shop, three restaurants (including a Subway) and even an ofuro (bath) open until 9 p.m. daily. If you’re on a tight budget, there is a “resting room” where you can wait for the lifts to open (¥1,000; open 11:30 p.m. to 8 a.m.). It’s a common space that fits up to 100 people (no reservations; first come, first rest). Challenge yourself on the Champions expert run. Goryu also shares a common lift pass with Hakuba 47.

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Intermediate Gondola

HAKUBA 47 (0261) 75-3533 www.hakuba47.co.jp Dec. 10 - May 5 8:15 -16:30

1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Hakuba 47 is a relatively new resort (opened in 1990) that has been under new ownership the last few seasons. They’ve been trying to take some progressive steps to making a better resort experience, and it is starting to pay off. There are loads of activities, events, an extensive snow park with lots of jibs, kickers and things to launch off, and a great half pipe. The resort also has some excellent intermediate courses, a challenging mogul course and a shared ticket with Goryu, so no shortage of courses from which to choose. Early birds will want to take advantage of the “First Tracks” tour. If you were wondering about the name, the goal of the resort is to offer a great mountain experience “4” seasons and “7” days a week.

Come and enjoy our acclaimed world-class terrain, breathtaking views and quality snow.

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HAKUBA HAPPO

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Hakuba, Nagano

(0261) 72-3066 www.hakuba-happo.or.jp Nov. 21 - May 5 8:00 - 20:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,600 TICKET Kids ¥2,300

Happo is a huge resort that is heaven for skiers who enjoy wellgroomed, long courses. There are many runs, good challenging terrain, and "parksters" will enjoy the acclaimed High Cascade Snowboard Park. Happo hosted the downhill races during the 1998 Olympics and, if you want to test your meddle, head to the top of the men’s downhill course. While advanced riders will love Happo, beginners may get frustrated with the many narrow paths leading down the mountain. If you need a break, the Usagidaira 109 restaurant on the top of the gondola or the High Cascade Café are great places to stop. Note the resort’s popularity means it can get crowded, especially on long weekends.

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Longest Course: 8,000m Top Elevation: 1,831m Base Elevation: 760m

13 Beginner NaganoIntermediate Station (1 Advanced courses ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen from Tokyo Station toLifts Gondola hour, 45 minutes), then an Alpico Bus to Hakuba (60 minutes).

HAKUBA IWATAKE

Hakuba, Nagano

(0261) 72-2474 www.tokyu-hakuba.co.jp/english/winter/iwatake/ Dec. 18 - Apr. 3 8:00 - 17:00

1 DAY Adults ¥3,900 TICKET Kids ¥2,200

If the crowds at Happo are too much for you, head over to nearby Iwatake. The base of the resort looks up at Hakuba’s highest peaks for a spectacular view while you enjoy the slopes. The resort itself is surprisingly big, making it a great place to go to get away from the crowds and explore the 24 courses. It’s mostly beginner and intermediate runs, but there is a nearly four-kilometer cruiser and a small terrain park. Lift lines are relatively short by Hakuba standards, and you can often find some pockets of powder here after it has been tracked out at other resorts nearby. Park

South Side

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15 Beginner NaganoIntermediate Station (1 Advanced courses ACCESS By Train: and Bus Shinkansen from Tokyo Station toLifts Gondola hour, 45 minutes), then an Alpico Bus to Hakuba (60 minutes).

50% 1 1

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Longest Course: 3,800m Top Elevation: 1,289m Base Elevation: 539m

For more Nagano information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com) 2 0 1 2

Advanced

4

Longest Course: 6,800m Top Elevation: 1,614m Base Elevation: 820m

8 Beginner NaganoIntermediate Station (1 Advanced courses ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen from Tokyo Station toLifts Gondola hour, 45 minutes), then an Alpico Bus to Hakuba (60 minutes).

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Hakuba, Nagano

Two of Hakuba's Best Ski Resorts

• Hakuba's largest resort with 23 courses • Long season open from end of November 2011 to early May 2012 • Breathtaking 360° panorama view • World-class terrain and powder snow • Japan’s largest snow park • Enjoy night skiing • Great variety of restaurants • Activity centre and childcare service • Ski and snowboard school lessons in English available • Children under 5 ski free everyday!

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Longest Course: 5,000m Top Elevation: 1,624m Base Elevation: 950m

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16 Beginner and theIntermediate direct busAdvanced to courses ACCESS By Train and Shuttle: Shinkansen to Nagano StationLifts Hakuba. A shuttle service runs between Goryu and Hakuba Gondola 47.

Goryu & Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park

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HAKUBA CORTINA

Hakuba, Nagano

(0261) 82-2236 www.hakubacortina.jp Dec. 11 - Apr. 3 8:30 - 20:00 (17:00 - 20:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥3,300 TICKET Kids ¥1,700

If you are looking for a place to spend a quiet, romantic ski weekend in the Hakuba area, head over to Cortina. The massive Green Plaza Hotel with northern European architecture will be impressive. If your partner is just starting out; the course right outside the door of the hotel is a gentle slope and great for beginners. In fact, most of the runs at the resort are in the beginner to intermediate range, although powder pockets are there, if you know where to look. The Hakuba Cortina Resort offers a shuttle from Nagano station for ¥500 (reservation required).

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Longest Course: 3,500m Top Elevation: 1,402m Base Elevation: 872m

Longest Course: 3,500m Top Elevation: 1,402m Base Elevation: 872m

HAKUBA TSUGAIKE KOGEN

Otari, Nagano 1 DAY Adults ¥4,500 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Tsugaike is actually located in Otari Village, just up the road from Hakuba. The resort could be considered one of the most underrated, considering it has some huge bowls, a big gondola, terrain park, cross-country course, good night skiing and some interesting runs. There are even heli-skiing tours in spring and good places to hike to get fresh turns. The Children’s Square is great for kids just starting out on the slopes. Most of Tsugaike’s runs are in the intermediate range, but there are a few expert areas as well. To finish off a great day, head over to Tsuga no Yu hot springs, just 100 meters from the gondola.

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courses

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Longest Course: 4,630m Top Elevation: 1,704m Base Elevation: 800m

20% 10 2

Longest Course: 4,630m Top Elevation: 1,704m Base Elevation: 800m

15 Beginner NaganoIntermediate Station (1 Advanced courses ACCESS By Train: and Bus Shinkansen from Tokyo Station toLifts Gondola hour, 45 minutes), then an Alpico Bus to Hakuba (60 minutes).

NORIKURA KOGEN ONSEN

50% 1 1

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(0263) 93-2645 www.norikura.co.jp Dec. 4 - Apr. 3 8:30 - 16:20

Advanced

40% 2

16 Beginner NaganoIntermediate Station (1 Advanced courses ACCESS By Train: and Bus Shinkansen from Tokyo Station toLifts Gondola hour, 45 minutes), then a shuttle to Hakuba Cortina (80 minutes). (0261) 83-2515 www.tsugaike-kogen.com Dec. 20 - May 5 8:00 - 20:50 (18:00 - 20:50)

Intermediate Gondola

30% 5

Norikura Kogen Onsen, Nagano 1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥3,000

The base of Norikura Kogen Onsen Ski Resort (not to be confused with the smaller Hakuba Norikura) starts at 1,500 meters, meaning the snow quality is excellent, and you’ll spend more time riding than in lift lines. It is a relatively small, local resort, yet the dedicated locals have created a progressive and challenging terrain park and good facilities for beginners to learn to ride. There is no ATM, so bring cash and make sure to pack chains or have a 4WD, since Norikura is nestled deep in the Northern Alps. And after a day on the mountain, don’t miss the great rotenburo at Yukemurikan.

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45% 20% 35% Hakuba Goryu Contact : 1 6 1

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0261-75-2101(Escal Plaza Slope) 0261-75-2636(Iimori Slope) Longest Course: 5,000m 20 TopHakuba Elevation: 2,000m 47 Contact: 0261-75-3533 courses Base Elevation: 1,500m

Please visit our Web sites for further details:

Hakuba Goryu: www.hakubagoryu/com/e/ Hakuba 47: www.hakuba47.co.jp/e/

Longest Course: 5,000m 20 Top Elevation: 2,000m Beginner Intermediate Advanced (2 hours, 37 courses ACCESS By Train: Super Azusa Express train from Shinjuku to Matsumoto Lifts Gondola Base Elevation: 1,500m minutes. Transfer at Matsumoto, then on to Shin Shimashima (30 minutes).

ACTIVITY SPOTLIGHT SNOWSHOEING Japan is one big snowshoeing playground in winter. Hakuba Village, which sits at the foot of Japan's Northern Alps, in particular has endless terrain for this fun winter activity. Tsugaike Kogen is popular year-round and has a huge forested area with scenic views south toward Hakuba. On the eastern side of the valley, the Minegata area overlooks the village and the awesome mountains hovering above.

Winter Sports Guide Coupon Offer!

Purchase a one-day lift pass and receive a meal voucher worth ¥1,000

Adults ¥4,900 (valued at ¥5,800) Junior ¥2,900 (valued at ¥3,500) Valid until March 18th, 2012 (Except December 29th, 2011 - January 3rd, 2012) This offer also includes vouchers for local service stations and hot springs in Hakuba.

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

Please cut out this coupon and bring to the resort.

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SHIGA KOGEN

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If you include all 21 interlinked ski resorts, Shiga Kogen, in Northern Nagano, is Japan’s largest ski resort area. Surrounded by 2,000-meter mountains, Shiga has good elevation and is a great place to get some early or late season runs in as the season stretches from late November to early May. Shiga Kogen hosted the women’s downhill, slalom, the super giant slalom and both snowboarding events for the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games. One common lift pass allows you to ride about 70 lifts, gondolas and ropeways as well as access to the free shuttle bus so you can get around. If you plan to try all the ski areas, you’ll need to give yourself at least a few days to explore the various terrain. Okushiga Kogen and Kumanoyu remain skiers-only resorts.

With more than 100 accommodation scattered around the area, there is no shortage of places to stay, although it has retained an “old school” feel with most restaurants found inside hotels, some serving Shiga Kogen Brewery’s excellent microbrew. There are many onsen in the area to soak after a day on the mountain, yet the most famous one is within Jigokudani Yaen Koen, where resident snow monkeys lounge in their own hot springs, while visitors snap away with their cameras Note that the area only as one ATM facility at the Shiga Kogen Post Office in the Hasuike area (Open Mon. – Fri. 09:0017:30 and Sat. 09:00-12:30). We dont’ have space to include all 21 resorts in the Shiga Kogen area, so here are a few highlights.

For more Nagano information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com)

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Giant

WINTER

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Shiga Kogen, Nagano www.shigakogen.gr.jp/english/

Shibutouge Yokoteyama Kumanoyu Kidoike SunValley

HOPPOBUNADAIRA - HIGASHITATEYAMA - NISHITATEYAMA ((0269) 34-2301 www.shigakogen.in Nov. 21 - Mid Mar. 8:30 - 16:30 1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,400

50% 1

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ACCESS By Train: 110 minutes from Tokyo Stn. to Nagano Stn. By Car: 300 minutes from Tokyo.

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

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Longest course: 3,500m Top Elevation: 2,030m

7

courses Base Elevation: 1,325m

YAKEBITAIYAMA (0269) 34-3111 www.princehotels.com/en/ski/shiga_kougen.html Nov. 21 - May 5 8:30 - 20:30 (18:30 - 20:30) 1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,400

45% 2

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ACCESS By Train: 110 minutes from Tokyo Stn. to Nagano Stn. By Car: 300 minutes from Tokyo.

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

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Longest Course: 2,500m Top Elevation: 2,000m

courses Base Elevation: 1,550m

OKUSHIGA KOGEN SKI FIELD (0269) 34-2225 www.okushiga.jp/information/ Nov. 21 - May 5 8:30 - 16:30 1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,400

45% 1

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ACCESS By Train: 110 minutes from Tokyo Stn. to Nagano Stn. By Car: 300 minutes from Tokyo.

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

9

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Longest Course: 2,200m Top Elevation: 2,000m

courses Base Elevation: 1,460m

ACTIVITY SPOTLIGHT

Stay and Play in beautiful Norikura Kogen with an adventure package at NORTHSTAR and the Halenoa Lodge. We offer a full lineup of White Season Outdoor Fun and if your not so adventurous then you can still enjoy beautiful Norikura Kogen with a dip in one of the Onsens and some local Soba. GUIDED FUN • Beginner Backcountry Tours • Guided Backcountry Tours • Burton LTR (Learn to Ride) lessons UNGUIDED FUN • Mt. Norikura Ski Resort • Snowshoe Hiking • Local Onsen (Hotsping) • Day trips to Matsumoto & Takayama City

www.ridenorthstar.com

WHITE

SEASON

NORTHSTAR outdoor adventures 4306 Azumi, Matsumoto-shi Nagano-ken Ph: 0263.93.1688

SNOWMOBILING A growing number of resorts are offering snowmobile tours in Japan as people discover the thrills of this exciting winter activity. Shiga Kogen, Naeba and Niseko are especially popular. Beginners can practice in special snowmobile parks until they are comfortable taking it out in natural terrain. Advanced riders can charge through powder and even enter one of the growing number of snow mobile competitions such as the Japan Championship Series.

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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SKI JAPAN

Season runs from December 3rd to May 6th

MADARAO KOGEN SKI RESORT

Iiyama, Nagano

(0269) 64-3214 www.madarao.jp/ski/english Dec. 17 - Apr. 3 8:30 - 21:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

(With Mother Natures Blessing)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,200 TICKET Kids <12 FREE

Located in northeastern Nagano, just above Iiyama Town, Madarao Kogen features 16 lifts and 22 courses across a bowl-shaped terrain on Mt. Madarao (1,382 meters). The resort has a nice variety of courses, groomers, a tree run area, free ride park, wave courses and kids park, and the resort is free to kids under 12. They claim 60 percent of the course is ungroomed so, if you like riding powder, there should be plenty in which to play. There is also a joint ticket available for Tangram Ski Circus, a small, pretty resort. This year the resort has a “Zipline Adventure” course, and backcountry tours can be arranged through the resort.

Come in December, March or April and beat the crowds and save some money!

tel. 050 5532 6026 www.nozawaholidays.com

Park

Beginner City (1 Intermediate hour, 28 ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano Gondola minutes) then by bus to Madarao Kogen Ski Resort.Lifts

Advanced

NOZAWA ONSEN

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1 DAY Adults ¥4,600 TICKET Kids ¥2,100

If you’re looking for the quintessential Japanese ski experience, Nozawa Onsen is the place. This traditional hot spring village sits at the base of a great mountain (Mt. Kenashi, 1,650m). The resort is one of the oldest ski grounds in Japan, getting consistent snowfall. Water and Fire. Water is everywhere in Nozawa, from the snow melting in the streets, to water flowing beside cobblestone roads, to the 30 hot springs scattered around the village (including 13 free baths in town). Fire takes center stage at the Dosojin Matsuri (Fire Festival on Jan. 15).

30% 5

Longest Course: 2,500m Top Elevation: 1,350m Base Elevation: 440m

24

courses

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Beginner Nozawa Intermediate Onsen ACCESS By Train: 60 minutes from Nagano Station to Togari Lifts Gondola Stn. then taxi or shuttle bus. By Car: 75 minutes from Nagano.

Advanced

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Advanced

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Longest Course: 10,000m Top Elevation: 1,650m courses Base Elevation: 565m

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Longest Course: 3,000m 19 Top Elevation: 1,750m Beginner NaganoIntermediate Station (1 Advanced courses ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen from Tokyo Station toLifts Base Elevation: 1,200m hour, 45 minutes), then less than 1 hour to Togakushi by bus.Gondola Park

ACTIVITY SPOTLIGHT YATSUGATAKE ICE CLIMBING According to legend, an 8,000-meter mountain once dwarfed Mt. Fuji until she got jealous and knocked it over. Today the distinct ridgelines of the eight peaks of the Yatsugatake Range form the borders of Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures. The area is a hot spot for hikers and in winter a playground for ice climbers. Low angle streams are great for novices, and an artificial ice wall is built in front of Akadake Kōsen Hut.

www.addressnozawa.com

Get special discounts on meals at our sister ryokan

www.kawamotoya.jp

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For more Nagano information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com) WINTER

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Togakushi, Nagano 1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Togakushi is an interesting, medium-sized resort. The name “Togakushi” means “hidden door,” and the resort is owned by Nagano City and newly managed by Tokyu Resorts, yet it is still relatively unknown to people outside the area. The best way to describe Togakushi is pleasant. The conditions always seem to be pretty good, and there are often great powder days. Best of all, it never seems to get as busy as the more popular Nagano resorts, and it has retained a very local feel. Togakushi Village is in itself in interesting place. It is famous for soba, and there are some beautiful shrines, temples and onsen nearby to finish of a great day on the mountain.

tel +81 570 81 570 res@ee-p.com

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TOGAKUSHI SNOW WORLD (0262) 54-2106 www.togakusi.com/skimenou Dec. 18 - Apr. 3 8:30 - 16:30

40% 2 10

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Comfortable and Cool Designed self-contained apartments featuring fully equipped kitchnette and modern technology.

Longest Top Ele Base E

Nozawa Onsen, Nagano

(0269) 85-3166 www.nozawaski.com Nov. 20 - May 8 8:30 - 20:00 (17:00 - 20:00)

Stylish and Cozy Serviced Apartments in the centre of Nozawa Onsen village and ski resort

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NIIGATA O

ne day in 1986, the good people of Joetsu, a coastal city in Niigata, were deluged by 232 centimeters of snow—in one day. That’s roughly enough to bury a one-story

building. Although this sort of thing doesn’t happen every day, Niigata gets some of the heaviest snowfalls in Japan. The town of Yuzawa was where Yasunari Kawabata penned his award winning novel Snow Country (Yukiguni). It is also Niigata’s most popular of winter sports areas, due to the easy access from Tokyo (77 minutes) and the variety of ski resorts a snowball’s throw from the station. Just over the border from Nagano Prefecture, in the southeastern part of Niigata, the Myoko Kogen area is one of Japan’s

Summer ¥8,500 Winter ¥9,500 (per person with meals)

best-kept secrets. This scenic, mountainous area stretches all the way to the Sea of Japan coast and features some great resorts in its own right.

Long stay packages also available

Joetsu Kokusai NASPA Ski Garden GALA Yuzawa

Iwappara

Charmant Hiuchi

Seki Onsen Akakura Myoko Suginohara Super Quality Space with Fine Dining

Kagura Tashiro Mitsumata

The

025-789-3911 www.kinta.com Naeba, Niigata

Naeba

A short walk to Naeba Ski Resort.

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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GALA YUZAWA SNOW RESORT YUZAWA KOGEN Mt. NAEBA KAGURA • MITSUMATA

GALA YUZAWA STATION

NUNOBA NUNOBA FAMILY IPPONSUGI SKI RESORT

Mt. NAEBA KAGURA • TASHIRO

ECHIGO YUZAWA STATION

NASPA SKI GARDEN

IWA-PPARA WINTER RESORT

KANDATSU KOGEN LUDENS YUZAWA SKI

YUZAWA PARK SKI YUZAWA NAKAZATO KAYAMA CAPTAIN COAST NAKAZATO SNOW WOOD Mt. NAEBA

Mt. NAEBA • SHIRAKABA Mt. NAEBA • ASAGAI

GONDOLA ROPEWAY

NAEBA SKI RESORT

Yuzawa, Niigata

(0257) 89-2211 www.princehotels.co.jp/ski/naeba Dec. 4 - Apr. 10 8:00 - 21:00 (16:00 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥5,000 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Naeba calls itself "The St. Moritz of the East" and is a popular choice for Kanto trendsetters wishing to get away for a day trip or a quick ski weekend. The crescent-shaped Prince Hotel cuts an imposing figure at the base of this classic ski-in / ski-out resort and features all the trappings you would expect from a Prince-managed resort hotel. Off the mountain, there are children’s services, hot springs and other amenities and, on the mountain, a terrain park, kids park, family snow park and more. Naeba Resort is connected to the Tashiro, To Naeba Kagura and Mitsumata ski areas by the "Dragondola" which travels 5.5 kilometers in just 15 minutes.

The quintessential Japanese ski experience.

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To Naeba

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Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

KAGURA -TASHIRO - MITSUMATA

野沢温泉スキー場

1 DAY Adults ¥4,200 TICKET Kids ¥2,100

These three connecting ski areas form one big resort. If you count Naeba, the total rideable area is 368 hectares. From Naeba you’ll be lifted above Lake Tashiro to wider and less crowded slopes and better snow quality, but the area closes at 4 p.m. and the lift line back to Naeba can be long. A better option is to access the Tashiro Ropeway on Route 17. You can then traverse across Tashiro in about 40 minutes to Kagura, known Kagurafor good backcountry options (enter at your ownArea risk) and a long season. The Mitsumata area has a small boarder's park, a few jumps andTashiro twoAreagood slopes for learning. Accessible by the Mitsumata Ropeway on Route 17. To Naeba

Tel: (0269) 85-3166

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Kagura Area Park

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Beginner Lifts

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35% 5

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Longest Course: 6,000m Top Elevation: 1,845m Base Elevation: 620m

For more Niigata information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com) WINTER

30% 15

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23 Beginner Intermediate Yuzawa StationAdvanced (77 courses ACCESS By Train and Shuttle Bus: Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo minutes) then shuttle bus to one of the resort’s car Lifts parks onGondola Route 17.

www.nozawaski.com

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Yuzawa, Niigata

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Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

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Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 1,789m Base Elevation: 900m

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27 Beginner Intermediate Yuzawa StationAdvanced (77 courses ACCESS By Train and Free Shuttle: Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo Lifts Gondola minutes) then free shuttle bus to Naeba Resort (50 minutes). (0257) 88-9221 www.princehotels.co.jp/ski/kagura Nov. 20 - May 22 (Tashiro May 8) 8:00 - 17:00

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GALA YUZAWA SNOW RESORT (0257) 85-6543 www.galaresort.jp/winter/english Dec. 11 - May 5 8:00 - 17:00

Yuzawa, Niigata 1 DAY Adults ¥4,300 TICKET Kids ¥2,100

Park

If you want a quick, convenient day-trip from Tokyo, you can’t get any easier than Gala Yuzawa. The ski resort has its very own train station that doubles as the ski lodge. The amazing efficiency has its drawbacks, however. It means you will most definitely not be alone on the hill. You can, however, get up to the mountain, get in a few runs with friends and be back in time to buy your favorite designer goods in Harajuku. The resort is not for serious skiers but, if you just want to have fun in the snow for a day with friends, you can’t beat the convenience.

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Beginner Lifts

Advanced

Intermediate Gondola

16

courses

Advanced

45% 1 3

35% 1 2

Park

Beginner Stn. Intermediate ACCESS By Train: 77 minutes from Tokyo Stn. to Echigo Yuzawa By Car: 50 minutes from Echigo Yuzawa Stn. to GalaLifts Yuzawa.Gondola

35% 1 2

16

courses

45% 1 3

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Longest Course: 2,350m Top Elevation: 1,181m Base Elevation: 800m

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Longest Course: 2,350m Top Elevation: 1,181m Base Elevation: 800m

IWAPPARA

Yuzawa, Niigata

(0257) 87-3211 www.iwa-ppara.com/english.html Dec. 11 - Apr. 3 8:00 - 21:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Park

Although Iwappara looks like a relic of Japan’s bubble era with big pink apartments along the course, it is still one of the more popular resorts in the Yuzawa area. It’s super convenient from the station (five minutes) so it is quite possible to do a day trip from Tokyo, and the main course is so wide open, beginners can practice their turns without fear of being run over by a speedy skier (or vice versa). The views from the top are nice, and the village area around the ski area has a nice selection of restaurants.

40% 2

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

40% 6

40% 2

11

courses

40% 6

20%

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 985m Base Elevation: 400m

20%

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 985m Base Elevation: 400m

11 Beginner Intermediate to Echigo YuzawaAdvanced courses ACCESS By Train and Shuttle Bus: 77 minutes from Tokyo Stn. Gondola Stn. then shuttle bus from Echigo Yuzawa Station inLifts less than 10 minutes.

NASPA SKI GARDEN

Yuzawa, Niigata

(025) 780-6222 www. naspa.co.jp/english Dec. 18 - Apr. 3 8:30 - 17:00 (17:00 - 19:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥3,000

Park

NASPA is a relatively new ski resort (opening in 1992) holding on to the past by being one of the only skiers-only resorts left in Japan. The ski hill is behind the deluxe New Otani Hotel and the resort which definitely caters toward families who ski and want to stay in luxury. In fact, you can enjoy yourself even if you are not a skier, as there are public and private hot springs, Jacuzzis, a swimming pool, fitness center and a selection of restaurants. Its location near the station makes for a quick, convenient ski weekend from Tokyo, if you want to get in a few turns (on skis) with the family.

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

37% 1

38% 2

Park

8 BeginnerYuzawa Intermediate StationAdvanced (77 courses ACCESS By Train and Free Shuttle Bus: Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo minutes) then free shuttle bus to NASPA Ski Garden (5Lifts minutes).Gondola

JOETSU KOKUSAI SKI RESORT (025) 782-1028 www.jkokusai.co.jp Dec. 11 - Apr. 3 8:00 - 21:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

38% 2

Advanced

37% 1

25% 2

Longest Course: 2.2km Top Elevation: 690m Base Elevation: 430m

8

courses

25% 2

Longest Course: 2.2km Top Elevation: 690m Base Elevation: 430m

Minamiuonuma, Niigata 1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Park

To the north of Yuzawa town is a 634-room, European-style hotel that anchors the Joetsu Kokusai Ski Resort. The runs are relatively short here, but there is a long 6K trail and a 38-degree “Daibetto Slope” that will challenge anyone’s courage. The resort also has an extensive terrain park and two half-pipes; one used in the 2004 World Cup, and regularly hosts events such as the 2009 Nippon Freeskiing Competition. Parents wanting to keep the little ones entertained will like the “Kids Paradise” area outside on the snow as well as an indoor “Kids Room.” Park

Beginner Intermediate Echigo Yuzawa ACCESS By Train and Bus: Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo toLifts Gondola Station (77 minutes) then bus to Joetsu Kokusai (25 minutes).

Advanced

30% 3 Park

Beginner Lifts

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30% 3

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22

courses

50% 4

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Longest Course: 6,000m Top Elevation: 1,017m Base Elevation: 200m

20% 18

Longest Course: 6,000m Top Elevation: 1,017m courses Base Elevation: 200m

22

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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MYOKO SUGINOHARA (0255) 86-6211 http://ski.princehotels.co.jp/myoko/ Dec. 18 - Mar. 27 8:30 - 16:30

Myoko, Niigata 1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥3,000

Myoko Kogen is simply one of the naturally prettiest ski resorts in Japan. Suginohara is another of the Prince resorts, and the facilities are well-maintained. The runs above the gondola are where advanced skiers and powder hounds will have the most fun, but there is a lot to choose from here and some great on-hill restaurants at which to stop and take a break. And you may need to, as Suginohara boasts arguably Japan’s longest top-to-bottom, an 8.5-kilometer thigh burner that will test anyone’s meddle if left for the last run of the day. The stunning view of Lake Nojiri below from the gondola makes it worth the trip along.

Park

40% 1

4 2

Park

Beginner Lifts

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40% 1

Advanced

16

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E

20% 1

Park

Beginner Stn. ACCESS By Train: 120 minutes from Tokyo Stn. to Myoko Kogen Lifts By Car: 160 minutes from Tokyo.

Intermediate Gondola

Advanced

AKAKURA ONSEN 1 DAY Adults ¥3,900 TICKET Kids ¥2,700

Myoko Akakura Kanko Ski Resort was one of the first European-style ski resorts in Japan. After merging with Akakura Champion Ski Resort, it has been renamed Akakan, although locals still call it “Shin Akakura.” The unmistakable symbol of Akakan is the Akakura Resort & Spa which sits majestically on the slopes. It’s a great place to stay if you want ski in / ski out luxury. The area averages about 13 meters of snow annually, so there is plenty of fluffy stuff in which to play. Akakan has a nice variety of courses, but the most challenging runs are on the old “Champions” side of the mountain.

Park

50% 2 Park

Beginner Lifts

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30% 4

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Park

16 Beginner Intermediate Advanced hr., 45 min.), then take courses ACCESS By Train: Shinkansen from Tokyo Stn. to Nagano Stn. (1Lifts Gondola the JR Shinetsu Honsen Line to Myoko Kogen Stn., then 10 minutes by bus.

SEKI ONSEN real solutions for pain, injury and physical performance

Longest Course: 8,500m Top Elevation: 1,855m Base Elevation: 731m

Akakura Onsen, Niigata

(0255) 87-2125 www.akakura-ski.com Dec. 11 - Apr. 3 8:30 - 21:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

PLAY STRONGER!

16

courses

Advanced

16

courses

3 4

Longest Top Ele Base E

20% 9

Longest Course: 3,000m Top Elevation: 1,200m Base Elevation: 650m

Seki Onsen, Niigata

(0255) 82-2316 www.sekionsen.com Dec. 21 - May 8 9:00 - 17:00

1 DAY Adults ¥3,500 TICKET Kids ¥2,800

Seki is the highest ski area in the Myoko Kogen area and, even though there are just two lifts, there is access to many powder runs. This is a local mountain, and they check the weather reports and know when the storms will hit, sometimes dropping one or two meters of new snow overnight. It pays to get up early if you want first tracks. Don’t expect groomers; this is natural terrain and free riding at its finest: tree runs, natural pipes and some good hits. There’s no ATM, so make sure to bring cash.

SYNERGY

www.synergycenter.jp shirokanedai tokyo

Park

20% 1

3 1

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

30% 1

20% 1

Advanced

Longest Top Ele

6

courses Base Ele

50%

Park

Longest Course: 1,600m 6 Top Elevation: 1,620m Beginner Intermediate Advanced hr., 45 min.), then take courses ACCESS By Train: Shinkansen from Tokyo Stn. to Nagano Stn. (1Lifts Gondola Base Elevation: 1,000m the JR Shinetsu Honsen Line to Sekiyama Station, then 20 min. by taxi.

CHARMANT HIUCHI

Nou, Niigata

(0255) 68-2345 http://charmant-hiuchi.jp Dec. 18 - May 5 8:30 - 16:30

1 DAY Adults ¥3,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,800

Charmant is a locally owned and operated ski resort that most of your friends do not know about, but may wish they did. The resort is literally right on the Japan Sea (you can see it from the top lifts) and get some of the heaviest snow dumps around. It is also a healthy drive from Tokyo (four hours), but is worth the trip if you enjoy short lift lines and uncrowded slopes. There are lots of ungroomed areas and advanced terrain including a 1,000-meter powder course. The proximity to the sea means there is some excellent seafood nearby, and you can ski straight through Golden Week.

Park

20% 1 Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

20% 1

45% 2

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35%

Park

17 Beginner Intermediate From Advanced is inconvenient. courses ACCESS Car access is recommended: Train and bus serviceLifts Gondola Tokyo it takes 4 hours by car, depending on traffic and weather.

Longest Course: 2,700m Top Elevation: 1,009m Base Elevation: 501m

For more Niigata information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com)

74

WINTER

2 0 1 2

4 2

17

courses

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GUNMA W

hile neighboring Niigata gets most of the attention, Gunma quietly has some great snow resorts of its own. Located in northeast Gunma near the border with

Niigata, Minakami has ten ski resorts and is just 90 minutes from Tokyo. Ozu-Katashina is another quality area that flies under the radar. Katashina town lies in the shadows of mighty Mt. Hotaka and Mt. Shirane and features nearby resorts such the popular Oze Iwakura, Hotaka Bokujo, a boarders park, and Oguna Hotaka, a nice mid-sized resort. Manza, to the east of Katashina, the popular ski and onsen areas of Manza and Kusatsu Resort & Spa are great places to relax before or after a good day on the mountain.

Minakami Houdaigi

Kawaba

Okutone Snow Park Tenjindaira Tanigawadake

Oze Iwakura

Norn Minakami Manza Onsen

Kusatsu Kokusai

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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MINAKAMI HOUDAIGI

Minakami, Gunma

(0278) 75-2557 www.hotakasan.co.jp/hodaigi/index_E.html Mid Dec. - Mid Apr. 8:00 - 16:30 (17:00 - 21:00 Jan.only)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥2,500

Houdaigi ski area is the largest ski area in Minakami and gets better snow than most of the resorts in the area since it is at a higher elevation. Although there are many beginner and intermediate runs, there are a few advanced courses as well, including a killer 40-degree slope and a 2,600-meter cruiser. Parents can let their kids have fun safely on tubes and airboards in the “Kids Land,” and older kids can enjoy the “Action Land” with table tops waves and banks.

Park

40% 2 Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate

Park

16 Beginner then Intermediate bus to Advanced courses ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen to Jomo Kogen (75 minutes) Lifts Houdaigi (70 minutes). (0278) 72-8101 www.okutone.jp Dec. 18 - Mar. 27 8:00 - 22:00 (17:00 - 22:00)

16

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E

30% 1

Longest Course: 2,600m Top Elevation: 1,400m Base Elevation: 830m

OKUTONE SNOW PARK           (weekends & holidays 6:00 - 24:00)

30% 5

40% 2

Advanced

3 5

Minakami, Gunma 1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids Free for children <12

If rails, pipes and jumps are your thing, Okutone ski area is the place to go in Minakami. The park staff takes good care their loyal customers who come to perfect their tricks at the resort. The night sessions are popular, since they keep the lights on until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, and they even offer Nighter season passes (as well as “Sunset” passes from 3 p.m. until closing time). Okutone has easy access from the main road. It is located right off the main road after you cross over the Tone River. Ifyou want easy access to powder, Okutone can be your choice.

Park

30% 5

4 1

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

40% 1

30% 5

Advanced

10

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E

30%

Park

Beginner then Intermediate ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen to Jomo Kogen (75 minutes) Lifts Gondola bus to Okutone (40 minutes).

Advanced

Longest Course: 3,000m Top Elevation: 1,083m courses Base Elevation: 550m

10

NORN MINAKAMI

Minakami, Gunma

(0278) 72-6666 www.g-jmt.com/norn/eng Dec. 19 - Mar. 28 8:00 - 16:30 (16:30 - 22:00 / 24:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,200 TICKET Kids ¥3,400

Situated just three kilometers from the Minakami Interchange, Norn Minakami is the most convenient of the Minakami Resorts if you are coming by car. The resort is great for families. They’ve created “family zones” where the average slope is just 13 degrees and a Day Care Center where parents can drop off the little ones and enjoy some time on the mountain themselves. Norn is open from 7 a.m. to midnight on weekends, so you can enjoy a long day on the slopes and, like all Minakami resorts, is not far from some great hot springs.

Park

30% 2

5 2

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate

50% 2

30% 2

Advanced

5

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E

20%

Park

5 BeginnerthenIntermediate Advanced free shuttle. courses ACCESS By Train: 150 minutes from Tokyo Stn. to Minakami Stn., Lifts Expressway. By Car: 90 minutes from Tokyo (Nerima IC) via Kanetsu

TENJINDAIRA TANIGAWADAKE (0278) 72-3575 www.tanigawadake-rw.com Nov. 21 - May 5 8:00 -16:30

Longest Course: 2,000m Top Elevation: 1,220m Base Elevation: 820m

Minakami, Gunma 1 DAY Adults ¥3,500 TICKET Kids ¥2,000

Although Tenjindaira gets more guests in summer, when the tram is packed with hikers, than in winter when the area is blanketed in snow, “Tenjin” is a favorite of Minakami locals. The resort itself is relatively small, but lift lines are usually short and the snow quality can be excellent if it’s not too windy up top. However, the secret to Tenjindaira is what you don’t see, which is access to some serious backcountry. This is “enter at your own risk” territory and not a place to go without avalanche gear (and the knowledge to use it) . Better yet, hire one of the knowledgeable local guides and enjoy some "Japow!"

Park

30% 1 Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

30% 1

40% 4

Advanced

30%

Park

10 Beginner Intermediate change to the Advanced courses ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen to Takasaki Station, then Gondola Joetsu Line to Minakami Station, then 20 minutes byLiftsbus to Tenjindaira.

Longest Course: 4,000m Top Elevation: 1,500m Base Elevation: 750m

For more Gunma information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com)

76

WINTER

2 0 1 2

4 4

10

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E


KAWABA

Kawaba, Gunma

(0278) 52-3345 www.g-jmt.com/kawaba/eng Nov. 28 - Apr. 11 8:30 - 16:00

1 DAY Adults ¥4,200 TICKET Kids ¥2,700

Park

There’s something different about Kawaba. You’ll notice it the first time you pull into the covered parking area of the eight-story Kawaba City center house. There are six floors of parking and the seventh and eighth floors are filled with restaurants and ski / board shops. On the mountain, Kawaba is progressive as well with a nice balance of park and powder. Within the 10,790 meters or skiable terrain is the “Powder Zone,’ a section of the mountain left ungroomed for powder lovers. There is a good mogul course, the Free Ride Park (back by popular demand) and a 3,300-meter trail for cruising. Kawaba City also includes a ski school, kid’s corner and locker rooms.

20% 3 Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

40% 1

20% 3

Advanced

10

40%

40%

Explore japan this winter! Snow-Search Japan, 1 1 the award-winning English guide to skiing & snowboarding in Japan is now available at the

Burton Flagship Longest Course: 2,000mStore in Tokyo. Top Elevation: 2,020m

courses Base Elevation: 1,290m

40% 1

Park

Longest Course: 2,000m 10 Top Elevation: 2,020m Beginner Intermediate (75 minutes) thenAdvanced courses ACCESS By Train and Shuttle Bus: Shinkansen to Jomo Kogen Lifts Gondola Base Elevation: 1,290m 50-minute shuttle bus ride to Kawaba.

KUSATSU KOKUSAI

Kusatsu, Gunma

(0279) 88-8111 www.kusatsu-kokusai.com/winter/english Dec. 18 - Apr. 17 8:30 - 21:00 (17:00 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,500 TICKET Kids ¥3,800

Park

Although Kusatsu is famous as one of the country’s best onsen rsorts, the area also features a quality ski resort that has been around since the Taisho Era and is open nearly six months out of the year. Kusatsu Snow & Spa has an eight-kilometer downhill course, one of the longest in Japan (next to Myoko Suginohara), a Kids Square where the little ones can enjoy activities such as snow tubing, and a variety of Heliport courses for all levels. However, the best part of being at Kusatsu is the fact you can enjoy some world-famous hot springs after a great day on the mountain.

Heliport

30% 1

50% 2

20% 9

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

50% 2

30% 1

Advanced

Longest Course: 8km Top Elevation: 2,117m

10

courses Base Elevation: 1,245m

20% 9

Park

Beginner TokyoIntermediate ACCESS By Train and Bus: Shinkansen to Karuizawa Stn. from Lifts Stn.Gondola (72 minutes), then 55 min. by direct bus from Karuizawa

Advanced

Longest Course: 8km Top Elevation: 2,117m courses Base Elevation: 1,245m

10

MANZA ONSEN

Tsumagoi, Gunma

(0279) 97-3117 www.princehotels.com/en/ski/manza_onsen.html Dec. 12 - Apr. 4 8:30 - 17:00 (Sat.17:30 - 20:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,000 TICKET Kids ¥3,000

Manza Onsen is another of one of Prince Hotels signature properties and the hotel’s buildings commands an imposing presence at the bottom of the hill that features a lot of good beginner and intermediate runs and is a great place for families. There isn’t a lot of challenging runs for advanced skiers but the scenery is beautiful, the snow quality excellent and the hotel has a great (albeit smelly) natural rotenburo (outdoor bath) for after ski soaking. The facilities and amenities are on par with what you’d expect from a Prince Resort making for a stress-free ski experience.

Park

40% 1

50% 7

10%

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

50% 7

40% 1

Advanced

14

Longest Course: 1,500m Top Elevation: 2,008m

courses Base Elevation: 1,646m

10%

Park

Longest Course: 1,500m 14 Top Elevation: 2,008m Beginner Intermediate Advanced Manza-Kazawaguchi courses ACCESS By Train & Bus: Takasaki Line from JR Ueno Station to Lifts Gondola(50 min.). Base Elevation: 1,646m Stn. (160 min.) then change to the Seibu Kogen Bus to Manza Onsen

OZE IWAKURA

Katashina, Gunma

(0278) 58-7777 www.oze-iwakura.co.jp Dec. 11 - Apr. 10 8:00 - 21:00 (16:30 - 21:00)

1 DAY Adults ¥4,600 TICKET Kids ¥3,600

Oze Iwakura is the largest of the Katashina ski resorts. It was also one of the longest skiers-only holdouts and at last check there were still a few runs that banned boarders (mainly mogul courses). The mountain itself has a timeless, genteel feel to it, where visitors seem more interested in breathing in the fresh air and taking in the views than worrying about the latest snow fashion. If you get tired of groomers, you’ll find some nice powder on the fringes while some areas outside the lines will be tempting. Yet Iwakura remains a skier's mountain at heart, and skiers will enjoy the long, cruising runs, moguls and some challenging steep terrain.

Park

30% 1

40% 2

30% 10

Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

30% 1

40% 2

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18

Longest Course: 3,200m Top Elevation: 1,703m

courses Base Elevation: 1,006m

30% 10

Park

Longest Course: 3,200m 18 Top Elevation: 1,703m Beginner then Intermediate Advanced By Train and Bus: Shinkansen to Jomo Kogen (75 minutes) by bus to courses Base Elevation: 1,006m ACCESS Lifts Gondola Oze Iwakura (90 min.)

More information online at www.outdoorjapan.com/snow WINTER

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77


GIFU Dynaland Takasu Snow Park

nd a l a n Dy rt o s e Ski R su a & Tak Park Snow

A

lthough it gets less attention from the Tokyo crowd than Nagano, Niigata and Gunma, Gifu has a number of quality resorts that service the Nagoya and Kansai region. Less than a couple hours from the main Gifu ski resorts are the Edo-style town of Takayama, known as “Little Kyoto.” Takayama’s master carpenters built some beautiful shrines and temples here at the base of the Japan Alps. Also in the region, along the border of Gifu and Toyama prefectures are the World Heritage villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokoyama, known for the thatched roof houses built in “Gassho-zukuri” (praying hands) style. These A-frame farmhouses are constructed to withstand the heavy snowfall that blankets the region each year. If you are looking for good skiing and mixing in some great cultural experiences, Gifu is a great winter destination.

TAKASU SNOW PARK

One of the largest and one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan. Dynaland offers 18 runs catering to all levels and is connection to the popular Takasu Snow Park. Enjoy 2 of Japan’s best ski resorts with a shared pass to both Takasu Snow Park and Dynaland! • English lessons available. • Only 2 hours from Nagoya.

For more information please contact: rsvn@j-mt.com

Takasu, Gifu

(0575) 72-7000 www.g-jmt.com/takasu/eng Dec. 1 - Apr. 17 8:00 - 16:30

1 DAY Adults ¥4,800 TICKET Kids ¥2,000

Takasu is well known to park riders. The resort has large free ride park that includes kickers, rails, boxes and one of the biggest super pipes in Japan. There is also a 600-meter professional boarder cross course and a mogul course. The resort is the training grounds for many of Japan’s rising stars and has hosted a number of competitions including the FIS Snowboard World Cup. Aside from the amazing pipe and park, winter sports enthusiasts of all levels can enjoy the openfaced free ride terrain including a 4,800-meter trail, one of longest in western Japan and several other 4,000-meter trails. There’s even some backcountry tours through Dainichi Valley.

Park

35% 1 Park

Beginner Lifts

Intermediate Gondola

35% 1

35% 3

Advanced

12

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E

30%

Park

BeginnerTakasu Intermediate and ACCESS By Bus: A bus leaves Nagoya at 8 a.m. stopping at both Gondola Dyanaland. The trip takes about 2 hours 45 minutes.Lifts

Advanced

12

courses

Longest Course: 4,800m Top Elevation: 1,550m Base Elevation: 950m

DYNALAND

Takasu, Gifu

(0575) 72-6636 www.g-jmt.com/dynaland/eng/ Dec. 4 - Apr. 10 8:00 - 16:45

1 DAY Adults ¥5,300 TICKET Kids ¥3,000

Dynaland is the largest of the Takasu ski resorts. There are 19 runs; the longest a 3,200-meter thigh burner. There is a shared ticket to neighboring Takasu Snow Park and two places on the mountain that connect the resorts. If you want to get out on the slopes first thing in the morning, the Hotel Villa Mon-Saint is right in front of the resort and there are 5 a.m. openings for first tracks on selected dates. The resort has a resident DJ that will take music requests and you can do some good for Mother Nature while having a lunch break since the Dynaland Eco Project collects proceeds from resort restaurants to support a Gifu tree planting project.

www.g-jmt.com

Park

40% 3

Beginner Intermediate Takasu and ACCESS By Bus: A bus leaves Nagoya at 8 a.m. stopping at both Gondola Dyanaland. The trip takes about 2 hours 45 minutes.Lifts

Advanced

Beginner Lifts

40% 3

Intermediate Gondola

32% 3

Advanced

28%

Longest Course: 3,200m Top Elevation: 1,430m courses Base Elevation: 983m

18

For more Gifu information visit OJ Online (www.outdoorjapan.com) WINTER

2 0 1 2

3 3

Park

Park

78

3 3

18

courses

Longest Top Ele Base E


OJ CLASSIFIEDS

■ HOKKAIDO ■ TOHOKU ■ SHINETSU • HOKURIKU ■ CHUBU • TOKAI ■ KANTO ■ KANSAI ■ CHUGOKU • SHIKOKU ■ KYUSHU • OKINAWA ■ OUTSIDE JAPAN ■ GEAR & SERVICES

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Japan Adventures

Your Japan Hiking Specialists

BLACK DIAMOND LODGE

www.japan-adventures.com

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BDLODGE.COM

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79


OJ CLASSIFIEDS ■ NAGANO

■ HOKKAIDO ■ TOHOKU ■ SHINETSU • HOKURIKU ■ CHUBU • TOKAI ■ KANTO ■ KANSAI

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inaka home

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Surf Shop, Lessons and Rentals Okuda Style Surfing • Located in Kamakura 0467-23-8284 • www.padobo.com

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80

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Lifestyle Directory

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自然の中で遊ぼう!

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癒しの空間で... 波を心いくまで満喫...

Feel at home... Enjoy the ride...

サーフィンガイド サーフィンコーチ ラグジャリーな宿泊施設

Surf Guiding Surf Coaching Luxury Accommodation

www.thechillhouse.com WINTER

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■ HOKKAIDO ■ TOHOKU ■ SHINETSU • HOKURIKU ■ CHUBU • TOKAI ■ KANTO ■ KANSAI ■ CHUGOKU • SHIKOKU ■ KYUSHU • OKINAWA ■ OUTSIDE JAPAN ■ GEAR & SERVICES

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Air-golf.com Golf this summer on two of Tochigi’s top courses! ■ GEAR & SERVICES

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Office Network & Computer Support Database Development Website Development VoIP Telephone Systems Online Marketing www.showcase-central.info www.emissary.co.jp | 03-3365-1978 ■ GEAR & SERVICES

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Japan Resort Properties Live your lifestyle.

Find your perfect getaway in japan at

www.JapanPropertyListings.com ■ GEAR & SERVICES

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Outdoor Japan TRAVELER - Issue 42 - Winter 2012  

Outdoor Japan's Winter 2012 issue of Outdoor Japan TRAVELER featuring the 2012 Japan Winter Sports Guide. Get the most out of winter in Japa...

Outdoor Japan TRAVELER - Issue 42 - Winter 2012  

Outdoor Japan's Winter 2012 issue of Outdoor Japan TRAVELER featuring the 2012 Japan Winter Sports Guide. Get the most out of winter in Japa...

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